26 Aug 2011

American Samoa waives requirements for overseas doctors

6:41 am on 26 August 2011

Half a dozen foreign doctors have been given the green light to work at American Samoa's LBJ Hospital without needing to pass the United States Medical Licensure Examination.

American Samoa's governor, Togiola Tulafono, has approved a one year moratorium to waiver the requirement for all overseas doctors to pass the exam, in response to a critical shortage of physicians.

Our correspondent Monica Miller says six overseas doctors are preparing to join the staff at LBJ and says the hospital hopes to attract more.

"The hospital CEO Mike Gerstenberger -I was talking to him yesterday when the memo from the Governor was issued and he's quite happy because he says this will mean that they can bring in doctors and relieve the existing doctors who have had to work more than 12 hour shifts sometimes because there's just this very severe shortage."

Monica Miller says during the moratorium, any foreign doctors who have not sat the US ML exam are still required to pass certain standards set by the health regulatory board.