22 Feb 2012

Taxes for American Samoa's LBJ hospital "last resort"

11:29 am on 22 February 2012

An American Samoa senator says bringing in more taxes to provide long term funding for the LBJ hospital will be an absolute last resort.

A series of bills submitted by the governor to try to improve funding for the struggling hospital have gone before the Fono for approval.

Senator Lemanu Peleti Mauga says the governor's latest appropriation of 3 million dollars was successful, but most lawmakers want the millions more needed by the hospital to be drawn from currently available funds.

"The Fono strongly believe that we have assets within the government currently right now, that can be used to support the hospital.And we're looking at that and we are trying to work that out with the governor and administration that we should exhaust all that we have right now, before we go into any taxation."

Senator Lemanu Peleti Mauga says the hospital's lack of funding has had a huge impact on the wider community.

He is hopeful a long term funding solution will be agreed on before the next recess in three weeks.