15 Aug 2011

Health care costs for Micronesians in Hawaii soar

3:16 pm on 15 August 2011

A Hawaiian state government report says the cost of providing services to Pacific island migrants has more than tripled over the last eight years.

ETN news reports that the state of Hawaii's expenses for services to migrants from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau rose to 115 million US dollars last year from 32 million in 2002.

The three former trust territories are linked to the US through a Compact of Free Association that provides financial assistance and migration rights in exchange for the right to use defence sites.

Hawaii's government says it can't sustain the spending levels without more support from the federal government, which currently pays 11 million dollars a year.

People from these three countries suffer from high rates of cancer and kidney disease, which require expensive treatments.