16 Aug 2007

American Samoa's hospital hopeful additional funding will be made available

1:13 pm on 16 August 2007

The chairman of American Samoa's only public hospital, the LBJ medical center, is hopeful that the territory's government will provide additional funding for their off-island referral programme.

Charles Warren says the hospital is requesting an additional 3 million U.S. dollars on top of the 2 million dollars that has already been spent this year.

He says it's difficult to assess how much money is needed for the programme in any given year because it depends on how many sick people need treatment in New Zealand or Hawaii.

Mr Warren says the governor, Togiola Tulafono, is backing their request and will put it to the Fono which has to approve it.

"We're hopeful. I mean, the governor when we met with him gave us his full support and obviously didn't want the programme to be curtailed if it didn't have to be. He's optimistic that the senate and the house will see the wisdom in providing additional funds to keep the programme going for the remainder of the year."

Mr Warren says they've budgeted a total of 5 million dollars for referrals next financial year.