31 Mar 2005

Watchdog group appeals to American Samoan Governor over hospital crisis

7:20 pm on 31 March 2005

The watchdog group Common Cause has written to American Samoa governor Togiola Tulafono requesting the immediate removal of the CEO and Chairman of the board of the LBJ Medical Centre.

The group's president Taimane Johnson says an existing life-threatening crisis situation reported by staff of the LBJ hospital points out the obvious mismanagement of the Chief Executive and his staff.

Life-saving medication is said to be at a critical shortage.

Administrative costs have outstripped medical costs four to one, with 2.5 million US dollars spent on doctors and nurses and 10 million dollars paid to other opersonnel in 2004.

In her letter to the governor, Ms Johnson said that the situation at LBJ is intolerable and called for the issue to stop being used as a political football.

She pointed out that when the Fono voted to provide the hospital a critical emergency payment of 500-thousand dollars as a stop gap measure to buy medicine, the governor vetoed the proposal.

Ms Johnson told the Governor he has a duty to the territory's people to see that their health and welfare is second to none.