6 Mar 2013

LBJ hospital officials in American Samoa fear looming budget cuts

5:32 am on 6 March 2013

Officials at the LBJ Hospital in American Samoa fear looming budget cuts could see health services for the territory worsen.

The hospital is federally funded and will be affected by a 5% cut to American Samoa's interior budget allocation after U.S. President Barack Obama announced reductions to all interior funding, known as sequestration.

The governor's office has announced Lolo Matalasi Moliga will proceed with a 5% across the board reduction for all departments and agencies.

Our correspondent, Fili Sagapolutele says hospital staff are nervous about how the cuts will affect them.

"They get federal funding for budgets for its operation from the Interior department, its about US$230,000 a quarter, so that's a lot of money when it comes to the hospital, that depends mostly on the federal medic aid programme. So they are just waiting around to see what's going to happen and are just prepared for the worst."

Fili Sagapolutele reporting from Pagopago.