18 Sep 2009

American Samoa senator points at medical emergency

3:08 pm on 18 September 2009

An American Samoa Senator, Galeai Tuufuli, says 15 patients urgently need to be sent off-island for medical treatment, but the government says there is no funding left.

The LBJ hospital's one million US dollar allocation for the medical referral programme for the current fiscal year was depleted in December.

The new financial year starts next month but there is no funding allocation for off-island medical referrals.

Galeai says he has this week met hospital officials and found there are 45 patients waiting for off-island medical treatment, with 15 urgent cases, including five babies.

Galeai, says it is a matter of life and death, and if something happens to these people, the government will have been criminally negligent.