24 Jun 2009

American Samoa's LBJ hospital hopes offshore referrals will resume soon

3:42 pm on 24 June 2009

American Samoa's LBJ Hospital has released the names of 57 patients waiting for the off island medical care programme to resume.

The chairman of the Hospital Authority Board, Moananu Va, says only a few families can afford to pay for the referrals and he is hopeful that when the Fono sits next month, lawmakers will discuss funding to revive the referral program.

The LBJ Hospital stopped sending patients off island in January because the entire budget for the programme was used up in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

Moananu says the LBJ's third party administrator in Honolulu has indicated that once the hospital makes a payment of $100,000 towards its outstanding debt of close to half a million dollars, it can again accept local patients.

The third party administrator DMX, takes care of all the arrangements with the Honolulu hospitals for treatment of local patients and follow up.