14 Feb 2012

American Samoa bill wants government control of hospital

3:31 pm on 14 February 2012

An administration bill returning the LBJ Hospital under the control of the American Samoa Government was introduced in the House of Representatives this morning.

The bill was requested by the Governor Togiola Tulafono and notes that fees now charged by the hospital are far in excess of what families can afford, given that the average income per capita is about 8,000 US dollars.

It says the fee increase represents a clear emergency that affects the private and public health of all resident which must be dealt with swiftly.

The hospital raised fees after failing to get more government funding.

The bill removes the hospital board and places the hospital under the Department of Health.

The position of Chief Executive Office is abolished and replaced with Director of Health, Manager of Medical Center.

The bill will be effective immediately after it has been approved by the Fono and signed into law by the governor.