25 Feb 2016

American Samoa hospital still in debt

5:33 pm on 25 February 2016

American Samoa's long struggling LBJ Hospital has debts of nearly ten million dollars.

LBJ hospital, American Samoa

LBJ hospital, American Samoa Photo: RNZI

A report on local media says its accounts payable was at US$9.9 million as of February 12.

Most of the money was owed to off shore suppliers of medical equipment.

But the local power authority and the telecommunications agency were also owed substantial amounts by the government owned hospital.

Staff at the hospital said it was short of many items because suppliers required items to be pre-paid.

The hospital says the American Samoa government is lagging in its montly subsidy payments and it is not passing on a two percent income tax as previously arranged.

The governor Lolo Moliga last month directed the LBJ's management to cut staff costs, and for the treasurer Ueligitone Tonumaipe'a to find money to pay what is owed the hospital.