3 Oct 2006

American Samoa hospital defends spending choices

7:59 pm on 3 October 2006

The chair of the American Samoa LBJ hospital board, Charles Warren, says the board spends its funding wisely.

This comes as the president of the territory's Senate has questioned what he calls unnecessary spending by the board.

Lolo Letalu Moliga has queried the spending of 70 thousand US dollars to hire a lawyer, 40 thousand for a vehicle for the new hospital CEO, and another 40 thousand for an off-island recruitment firm.

But Mr Warren says the money was well spent.

"We have a difference of an opinion here. We feel that whatever spending has been authorised by the board is necessary and useful for the running of the facility."

Charles Warren

The senator also says the senate earmarked one-point-seven million of a ten million US dollars loan to lower hospital charges, but this did not happen.

Mr Warren says the board could only use this amount to cut charges if it was permanent but it was a one-off payment.