5 Feb 2013

American Samoa hospital fears fresh losses

2:16 pm on 5 February 2013

A lawmaker in American Samoa says the LBJ Medical Center will face a loss of more than one million US dollars a year if it cuts its fees.

The hospital, which has long faced financial problems, hiked its rates last year, sparking significant controversy.

Representative Taotasi Archie Soliai says the governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, has already appointed a new board of directors with a mandate that they lower fees to the old rates.

Taotasi says he supports the governor's call to lower hospital fees, especially given the many low income families in the territory.

However, he says it will also result in the loss of about 1.5 million US dollars a year at the hospital.

Taotasi says his concern is the cuts may lead to workers being laid off.