11 Mar 2011

Pago Pago hospital clogged by minor ailments

6:44 am on 11 March 2011

People with minor ailments are being urged to visit local health centres as the main hospital in American Samoa struggles to cope with staff shortages.

The LBJ Hospital in Pago Pago deals with emergencies and ill patients but Chief Medical Officer, Dr Aloiamoa Anesi says sometimes people are coming in with minor complaints like the flu.

He says there are three health centres around the capital to deal with mild issues but they aren't being fully utilized.

"At the moment we're getting maybe half of the patients coming through the emergency room at LBJ could easily be taken care of in the health centres and we're just appealing to the public instead of clogging up the emergency room to go and use those health centres."

Dr Anesi says part of the problem is they're under-staffed and recruiting new doctors is an ongoing challenge.