12 Feb 2008

Row over medical licensing likely to create more staff shortages at American Samoa hospital

2:21 pm on 12 February 2008

American Samoa's hospital may now be facing further staff shortages caused by the row over medical exams.

The LBJ Hospital Authority Board is insisting that all doctors who have not taken American licensing exams do so by this June.

Legislation has now gone before the senate seeking an exemption for those doctors already practising.

But our correspondent in Pago Pago, Monica Miller, says it dosen't appear to be enought to stop new staff departures:

"They are already short staffed as it is, there's not enough docotrs, and seeing these five go will further hurt patient services andits really going to burn out the docotors that are working there now."

This week there will be furthering hearings over a decision to stand down the Chief of Staff, Dr Annie Fuavai, over comments related to the exams issue.

The Executive Committee of the Medical Staff will hear from the acting Chief of Staff, Fuata Dr. Iatala Tanielu, after hearing from Dr Fuavai last week.