15 Mar 2005

Further drug supplies arriving in American Samoa for hospital

4:36 pm on 15 March 2005

Further drug supplies are being brought into American Samoa's LBJ medical center after doctors complained of a shortage.

The territory's only hospital has endured a longstanding shortage of medicine, even basic stocks, after suppliers demanded cash up front for deliveries as a result of waiting long periods to be paid.

A group of 12 medical chiefs then publicly made their concerns known in a letter to the hospital's chief executive and also to the territory's elected representatives.

Following that, the Senate voted to put an additional 500,000 U.S. dollars into an emergency fund for such crises.

But, our correspondent, Fili Sagapolutele, says the Fono is still to consider the fund.

"The senate has already passed the measure but the house will now need to pass that measure too. That bill is just going to the Fono this week so it's unclear when they're going to review it, or if they're going to review it at all, and when they're going to vote on it."

Fili Sagapolutele.