12 Apr 2010

American Samoa funds off-island medical treatment again

9:59 am on 12 April 2010

The American Samoa Senate has passed in second reading an administration bill which provides 2.5 million US dollars to fund off island medical referrals.

But senators voted unanimously to delete a new committee that's proposed in the bill to choose the patients who will be funded for off island treatment.

The Acting CEO of the LBJ Hospital, Ricky Nader, says the hospital is opposed to having another committee.

"We're not sure how the non-physicians are going to prioritise people's health care, making decisions on who does and who doesn't go off island. It's just adding another layer of administration, another 45 days delay in getting people off-island."

The sending of patients for treatment overseas was suspended at the end of 2008 because of a lack of funding.