23 Nov 2011

American Samoa's embattled hospital offers reprieve

6:19 pm on 23 November 2011

The LBJ Hospital in American Samoa has delayed plans to increase hospital rates and lay off staff.

The chairman of the Hospital Authority Board, Moananu Va, says this will give the administration and the Fono time to come up with a badly needed cash infusion for the territory's only hospital.

Moananu says the hospital management had proposed a rate increase and staff layoffs to make up for reduced revenues.

He says he advised against this and after a meeting with the governor, Togiola Tulafono, they have agreed to wait until next year before taking action.

The chair described the rate increases proposed by the hospital management as very steep.

Moananu says the hospital is in dire financial straits partly because the government hasn't paid subsidies which are included in its annual budget.