1 Feb 2006

LBJ hospital defends shorter working hours

11:15 am on 1 February 2006

Beginning today non medical staff of American Samoa's LBJ hospital will begin working 7 hour days, Tuesday to Friday.

All except two clinics will also be opened from 8am to 3pm on these days.

Last week the Senate asked the governor to stop the cut back in hours saying that closing clinics one hour early will have an impact on health care.

But Hospital Authority Chairman Charles Warren says the board and management have surveyed the clinics and with a few exceptions nearly all clinics are empty before 3 pm .

"There are either no patients or very few patients in the clinics after three o'clock. The hospital is not closed. The ER is still open, the dialysis clinic is open, emergency cases will still be seen just as they always have been. So we feel the impact is going to be very minor."