11 Jul 2003

American Samoa health authority struggles to recoup hospital charges

3:55 pm on 11 July 2003

The American Samoa Hospital Authority has been working to establish a universal health care insurance program to be introduced at the LBJ Hospital.

The Director, Dr Iotamo Saleapaga, says the Authority has been studying several options.

He says since LBJ fees were raised last year, it has been a challenge to collect unpaid bills from patients once they are released from hospital.

Dr Saleapaga says many patients sign up for instalment payments but once discharged, the Finance Office struggles to collect from them.

For foreigners the charge is 100 US dollars a day, while American Samoans and US citizens pay 35 dollars.