15 Mar 2005

Doctors in American say their complaint about drugs shortages was a first, but necessary

7:17 pm on 15 March 2005

A doctor at American Samoa's LBJ medical center says a recent drugs shortage had got so severe it was impacting on patient care.

The chief of staff, Dr Annie Fuavai, says within a week of complaining to management and the governor, the hospital was given nearly 35,000 US dollars to buy essential medicines.

She says it was the first time in thirty years that medical staff had complained but she is glad they did.

"We would change our management accordingly, and it's not a good feeling for the doctors because you know there's another medication you want to use and could use, but its not available."

Dr Fuavai says they have adequate amounts of essential drugs for the moment, but she says they hope the governor and Fono will soon approve a 500,000 US dollar fund for emergency medical supplies.