6 Feb 2012

LBJ Hospital says American Samoa fee hike inevitable

10:29 am on 6 February 2012

The LBJ Hospital Authority Board in American Samoa says it has been left no choice but to raise patient fees from tomorrow.

The hospital's financial problems stem from the government's failure to pay nearly half of the mandated subsidies in the last fiscal year

Fee hikes will put up outpatient charges from 10 US dollars to 50 dollars.

Our correspondent, Fili Sagapolutele, says many people have gone to the hospital over the weekend to beat the fee hike as hospital administrators struggle.

"Right now, they are in desperate need of at least close to 3 million dollars to help cover the shortfall of government subsidy that was supposed to have been provided in fiscal year 2011. But at the same time they are in desperate need of cash and they are running out of cash in the next two weeks, if they don't have any fast cash infusion."

Fili Sagapolutele says the Governor Togiola Tulafono is strongly opposed to the fee increase.