7 Jul 2005

American Samoan hospital confident of getting government help on cash flow shortage

4:23 pm on 7 July 2005

The chairman of the board of American Samoa's LBJ Hospital says he's confident the territorial government will help with its cash flow crisis.

The hospital has a current debt of around 15 million US dollars, including an outstanding 5.7 million dollar loan from the territorial government from 2003.

Charles Warren says his new board, which was appointed in May, is embarking on a fresh course of fiscal prudence for the hospital which could see job cuts and clinics closed one day a week.

Mr Warren says the new cost-cutting and revenue-enhancing plan has been well received at the Governor's office.

He says while it's unlikely that the government would forgive LBJ's debt, it understands the hospital can't continue to provide services with a yearly cash flow shortage...

"We project about a two and a half million dollar cash flow shortage and we have asked the governor for some help with that and he in turn has asked us to show him a plan that the hospital will on an ongoing basis be able to eliminate those types of shortages in the future, and that's what we're working on right now."

The chairman of LBJ hospital's board, Charles Warren