27 Apr 2020

American Samoa off-island medical treatment still available

7:24 am on 27 April 2020

American Samoan officials have reassured the public that urgent off-island medical treatment is still available through services to New Zealand.

Governor Lolo Moliga said he has received complaints from residents about the lack of a Hawaiian Airlines service because patients may need to go overseas for treatment.

But he said the medical referral programme is still running despite travel restrictions in place across the region.

The government has banned commercial flights but is allowing medical evacuations, a weekly cargo flights and refuelling stops.

Medicaid Director Sandra King Young said an air ambulance is taking a 74 year-old grandmother to New Zealand.

"Off-island referral but only under one condition, under our Code-Blue for emergency services and only if New Zealand accepts them. No escorts are allowed to travel with the patient. That is a New Zealand requirement," she said.