25 Apr 2006

American Samoan anger over new hospital fees

10:46 am on 25 April 2006

Many sponsors and non-resident patients in American Samoa say they are shocked about new fees charged by the LBJ hospital for those who are not entitled to free medical care.

The fees went into effect April 1st, but the actual fees have not been published or posted to patients and many are finding out about them now, after being charged.

The LBJ hospital says those not entitled to free medical attention would be charged what it termed usual reasonable fees, and there are 3,000 such fees.

A businesswoman whose employee was admitted early this week says the 695 US dollar a night fee for a stay in the Surgical ward is ridiculously high.

She also says the new fees aren't displayed anywhere and even hospital staff are unaware the new charges.

The LBJ says that a discount fee schedule is available, based on income and family size, and people have to fill out application forms in order to qualify.