15 Jan 2008

American Samoa explores sharing health services with Samoa

10:54 am on 15 January 2008

American Samoa's Fono leadership says the LBJ Medical Centre in American Samoa and Samoa's heath services should share resources to minimize costs, reduce spending and maximize efficient health service coverage to both Samoas.

These suggestions were outlined in a report late last week by Senate President Lolo M. Moliga and House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale following a visit to Samoa last month.

The report suggests that the LBJ adopt the policy used by Samoa in which not more than 20 percent of the annual budget is allocated for administration costs while the rest goes towards patient care.

Samoa's National Health Service, which includes the Tupua Tamasese National Hospital has a budget of 60 million Samoan tala or about US$20 million.

LBJ's budget is $30 million and more than 50 percent goes to personnel services.

The report also recommends collaborative assessment of a health care infrastructure system which identifies and allocates medical specialty designation so limited financial resources can be spent to address the

entire spectrum of required treatment plans for a much wider range of illnesses.

The report also recommends the sharing of available human resources so that both Samoas don't compete to recruit medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, technicians, surgeons and other clinical specialists.

In the area of pharmaceutical and medical supplies, the report recommends joint purchasing in order for the two Samoas to cut down costs.