3 Nov 2003

American Samoan governor rejects call for hospital board to be dumped

4:24 pm on 3 November 2003

The American Samoan governor, Togiola Tulafono, is rejecting a call from the senate for the board of directors at LBJ Hospital to be dumped.

The senate called for the board to be removed as a condition for approving a multi-million dollar bail-out plan for the hospital which has an almost 7 million U.S. dollar deficit.

The hospital is also facing two multi-million dollar lawsuits involving patient care.

Our correspondent, Fili Sagapolutele, says Togiola could dismiss the board under the constitution but he's said he won't.

"The governor said he does not intend to use that discussion at this point sources from inside the government is saying that the governor would like to see this current board resolve the problems and financial difficulties the hospital is facing right now. The governor has also informed the senate president if the senate does decide to reject the measure the governor says that that's fine by him. However, the governor has told the senate president it will be up to the senators and the senate president to explain to the public why there isn't any financial assistance provided to the hospital. It looks like the governor is throwing the ball back to the senate and make them take the blame. If by any chance they reject the hospital financial bail-out and let the senators answer to the public."

Fili Sagapolutele