28 Apr 2004

New staff to be recruited for American Samoan hospital

3:46 pm on 28 April 2004

The chief executive of the LBJ medical centre in American Samoa says extra money to recruit staff will be available shortly.

John Taufetee says the government-owned hospital does have a shortage of doctors, nurses and technical professionals which is currently being filled by staff doing overtime.

He says this is a costly process so the extra one million U.S. dollars announced by the governor to recruit staff is welcome.

Mr Taufetee says they are now assessing which areas have the most need and new staff will be allocated there.

"Be able to fulfill the needs at the emergency room for three or four more doctors, and the paediatrics, and the OBGYN clinics. We're going to look at all of our services to see where the needs are, that's what the process is all about now and we're putting out our advertisements."

Mr Taufetee says it's difficult to recruit staff despite salaries being higher than close neighbours because they must pay for U.S. certified doctors as required by Medicaid.