11 Feb 2010

Official at LBJ hospital in American Samoa confident funds can be found

11:55 am on 11 February 2010

The chief medical officer at the LBJ Medical Centre in American Samoa is confident that the Governor will find the necessary funds to revive off island medical referrals.

Governor Togiola Tulafono says he's sourcing revenue ideas and Fono support to restart the programme.

Taulapapa Dr Aloiamoa Anesi supports the move and says at least

5 million US dollars is needed at this stage.

Although its been two years since the programme was put on hold, he says staff have still been able to assist patients requiring off shore care.

"We put it on hold because we did not have the funding but that doesnt mean that we are not helping patients to go off-island. We provide the referral notes, we help out with relocating and acceptance decisions and we also help out with locating medical escorts. The Governor and the authority are looking into ways of pocuring funds to get our programme started again."

Taulapapa Dr Aloiamoa Anesi says patients currently either rely on health insurance or pay for their own care, which is costly.