21 Jul 2005

American Samoa senate at odds with hospital cost-cutting plans

3:49 pm on 21 July 2005

The chairman of the board of American Samoa's LBJ hospital says the Fono is discouraging them from pursuing cost-cutting plans to steer the hospital out of financial crisis.

With a debt of around 15 million US dollars, the hospital has embarked on a course of fiscal prudence which could see job cuts and clinics closed one day a week.

Charles Warren says the new cost-cutting and revenue-enhancing plan has been well received at the Governor's office.

But he says the senate is uncomfortable with the tough decisions the board are making.

"The fono, or the senate, doesn't seem to be too happy about that but yes we are. We feel it's the best approach on a long-term basis. We have a difference of opinion on what's best. They seem to not want us to trim payroll - they seem to think it would harm patient care and and they're basically warning us not to do it."