2 Apr 2016

American Samoa hospital looks to reduce staff costs

11:11 am on 2 April 2016

The Chief Executive Officer of the LBJ Hospital in American Samoa is looking at reducing personnel costs for the hospital, which accounts for more than 50 percent of LBJ's annual budget to about 28 or 29 percent.

LBJ hospital, American Samoa

LBJ hospital, American Samoa Photo: RNZI

Taufetee John Faumuina Junior said when he returned to LBJ as CEO, he was not impressed with a federal pay scale the hospital was using, adding if there's no federal money to cover the pay scale it should not be used.

Taufetee told the House Health Committee that the hospital's salary scale should be commensurate with the American Samoa government's to stop employees from moving to LBJ because of the money.

Taufetee hopes the newly appointed LBJ Hospital Assessment Task Force will take a serious look at this issue and act on it.

The CEO said the chairman of the LBJ Hospital Board, after being briefed on this problem, agrees that personnel costs should be trimmed.

Tuala-uta Representative Larry Sanitoa, said he was appalled with the runaway increases in LBJ's personnel costs in the last four years.

Sanitoa calculated a US$9 million increase in the personnel budget for LBJ.

In 2012 the hospital's personnel costs totaled $19.39 million.

The lawmaker did not have the costs for 2013, but he said in 2014 the spending went up to $US25 million, then it jumped by $US1 million last year to $US26 million and for Fiscal Year 2016 the LBJ's personnel budget stands at $US28 million.