3 Oct 2006

American Samoan senate queries hospital board spending

2:26 pm on 3 October 2006

The president of the American Samoa Senate is questioning what he calls unnecessary spending by the hospital authority board.

He says the senate has obtained funding to lower the impact of high hospital charges that many cannot afford.

He says it was for this reason that the Senate earmarked 1.7 million of a ten million US dollars loan that the government issued to the hospital last year.

Our correspondent, Monica Miller, says the senator queried the necessity of some expenditures.

"The senate president has questioned some of the spendings that have been approved by the board. He mentions specifically the purchase of a 40,000-dollar vehicle for the new CEO of the LBG hospital. The other thing that he questions is why a 70,000-dollar legal counsel is needed."

Monica Miller says the president is also questioning why the board spent 40,000 US dollars on an off-island recruiting firm.

The chair of the hospital board, Charles Warren, says the money was well spent.

Mr Warren says the board did not use the one-off payment of one-point-seven million US dollars, because the hospital must receive the amount per year to lower consultation charges.