21 Sep 2005

American Samoa's hospital board hopeful senate will still approve loan

1:27 pm on 21 September 2005

The chairman of American Samoa's financially-troubled LBJ medical centre says he remains hopeful that the senate will pass a bill securing a ten million US dollar loan for the hospital.

Charles Warren says he understands the senate is suspicious because LBJ has been unable to repay an earlier five million dollar loan.

The senate has put the bill on hold and asked the governor for more information on how the territorial government will meet repayments for the loan.

Mr Warren says the senate is also demanding to know what contributions the hospital will make.

"I noticed that one of the other questions that the senate had was more specificity on exactly what LBJ would be paying off with those funds. And, so we've directed the C.F.O [Chief Financial Officer] to provide them with whatever information they deem necessary. It'll create some real issues for LBJ in the next fiscal year if we're not allowed to start with a clean slate."

Mr Warren says the hospital plans to cut a million dollars a year from payroll costs to reduce expenditure and ensure there's no further financial holes.

He says to do this, they will be reducing administrative positions, not the numbers of doctors or nurses.