12 Nov 2008

American Samoan doctors to reply to exam demands

4:05 pm on 12 November 2008

Some doctors in American Samoa are preparing to respond to the vetoing of a bill that would have waived the requirement for doctors practicing medicine in the territory to be U.S. certified.

The bill would have exempted doctors already licensed by the Health Regulatory Board and working for LBJ Hospital and the Health Department from the requirement to sit and pass the United States Medical Licensure examination.

But Governor Togiola Tulafono, who vetoed the bill, says it's a regression in credentials and certification which the territory cannot afford.

Our correspondent, Monica Miller, says among the doctors responding are those who were educated at Fiji's School of Medicine and in Papua New Guinea, who've worked in the territory for years.

"Especially as some of them are now the heads of their divisions they've obtained a specialty over the years, some of them have worked for 30 years. And then to require them to take this test, which a lot of people in the medical profession say that it's that type of test you take when you're young and straight out of med school."

Doctors have until the end of the year to comply.