30 Sep 2008

American Samoa Governor blames US government for problems at medical centre

3:43 pm on 30 September 2008

American Samoa's Governor, Togiola Tulafono, says the federal government should take part of the blame for the deteriorating standard of health care available at the LBJ Medical Centre.

The governor was commenting on a report issued last Thursday by the Department of Interior on the status of health care in the US insular areas.

The governor says the report was scaring people particularly the finding that patients have died because of the lack of specialists and medical equipment to treat them.

The governor says the reason why the hospital can't hire enough US certified Medical Doctors or purchase equipment is a lack of funds.

He says had the Department of Interior provided adequate funding for the hospital, the situation would not be as bleak as it is.

Togiola says that the LBJ Hospital isn't able to attract or retain specialists such as neurologists, heart specialists and bone surgeons because it can only offer a third of the salaries that these specialists are paid in the mainland or Hawaii.