8 Jul 2005

American Samoa hospital seeks delay in planned cuts

4:18 pm on 8 July 2005

The American Samoan Hospital Board has received a Senate recommendation to delay cost cutting measures which the Board has approved.

It is the Senate's position that far greater problems will result form the board's recommendations to reduce working hours, shorten clinic hours, close the Hawaii medical referral office and raise hospital fees.

A Senate letter delivered this week to Board chairman, Charles Warren, predicted a slide in the quality of medical services if these measures were carried out.

It has urged the board to hold off on its plan of action until the Fono convenes.

The letter signed by 13 senators said that the board should give the governor and the Fono time to address the hospital's financial shortfall and come up with long term solutions.

The letter said the Senate is ready to enact legislation to earmark 600,0000 US dollar is immediately available to purchase medicine for the remaining three months of the fiscal year.