1 Apr 2014

Off island medical referrals due to restart in American Samoa

7:48 pm on 1 April 2014

A programme which pays for the off island transportation and medical care of patients who cannot be treated at American Samoa's main hospital could be reinstated as early as summer.

The off-island medical referral programme has been suspended since 2008 due to lack of funding and the only help for patients has come in the form of reduced air fares.

But the Health Care Transformation Task Force has confirmed that the Medicaid Programme is able to reimburse off-island referral patients under a cost share arrangement.

Its co-chair, Tofoitaufa Sandra King Young, says they are hoping to get funding of 10 million US dollars through local sources.

"And right now we are currently negotiating with a hospital in Hawaii and we hope to start negotiations with a second hospital in Hawaii to become an off-island referral hospital for us."

American Samoa's Health Care Transformation Task Force co-chair Tofoitaufa Sandra King Young.