3 Jan 2012

American Samoa leaders seek LBJ referral funds

12:40 pm on 3 January 2012

American Samoa's political leaders are working on a plan to provide a large sum of money to fund the off-island medical referral programme, which has no money left for the current fiscal year.

The territory's LBJ Medical Center sends critical patients to seek off-island treatment, but for the past four years the programme has been suffering from a lack of funds.

The LBJ chief executive officer Michael Gerstenberger told lawmakers last month that patients needing off-island care would have to pay their own expenses or use their insurance.

He says there were 95 cases approved by the medical referral committee in fiscal year 2011, but the budget of 1.5 million US dollars was spent on just eleven patients, whose treatment was very expensive.