Government cautious over medical assistance for former Ikale Tahi flanker in Romania

The Tongan government says it has to carefully consider what type of assistance it can make to help former Ikale Tahi flanker Sione Vaiomoʻunga, who has fallen ill in Romania.

Vaiomoʻunga has kidney disease and needs a kidney transplant.

The 25 year old played for ‘Ikale Tahi at the 2011 World Cup, but moved to Romania in 2013 where he has a contract with the Baia Mare Club.

Half way through his first rugby season Vaiomo’unga was diagnosed and treated for kidney diseases.

He cannot access medical assistance in Romania because of his nationality. He cannot return to Tonga because the medical treatment is not available in the kingdom.

Tonga’s Minister of Health Dr Saia Piukala told Parliament last week other Tongans overseas suffered from  the same sickness.

He said the issue was “delicate” because if the government offered to help Vaiomounga it would have to do the same for other Tongans in the same position.

The minister said he accepted that Vaiomo’unga had played for ‘Ikale Tahi and represented Tonga at the Rugby World Cup.

The minister made his statements after Lord Fusitu’a told the House he received requests for the government to help the sick rugby player.  The noble said these Tongans made the requests through him because they did not understand the government procedures for such requests.

Meanwhile the President of the CSM Science Baia Mare, Calin Matthew, told the Romanian website emaramures in December that the club would help Vaiomo’unga with his medical treatment.

“It will be put on the transplant list, and next year [2015] we will start a media campaign to raise funds for this purpose,” Mathew said.

“Foreigners have another transplant regimen, costs are high, but we hope that everything will be fine. Many thanks to all who helped us when he was in a serious stage of the disease, so that he could go on dialysis.”

Vaiomo’unga is a former student of Tupou College. A reliable source has told us the Tupou College Alumni held a General Meeting last month at which alumni said they wanted to help him.

The main points

  • The Tongan government says it has to carefully consider what type of assistance it can make to help former Ikale Tahi flanker Sione Vaiomo’unga, who has fallen ill in Romania.
  • Vaiomo’unga has kidney disease and needs a kidney transplant.
  • The 25 year old played in the 2011 World Cup, but moved to Romania in 2013 to play for Baia Mare Club.
  • Tonga’s Minister of Health Dr Saia Piukala told Parliament that if the government offered to help Vaiomounga it would have to do the same for other Tongans in the same position.

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