5 Mar 2009

American Samoa hospital's referral programme to Hawaii stalled by huge debt

8:12 pm on 5 March 2009

Hospitals in Honolulu are not accepting medical referrals from American Samoa's LBJ Hospital until a half million US dollar debt is paid.

This has been confirmed by the chairman of the Hospital Authority Board, Moananu Va.

He says in January, both Straub and Queens Hospitals informed the LBJ they will not accept its patients unless there is a good faith effort to reduce the debt.

Moananu says patients who are able to pay for their own medical costs are doing so.

Though the Fono approved appropriations of one point seven million US dollars to pay the costs of the medical referral program, Moananu says the hospital never received that money.

He says he has asked for the Governor's help to ensure that this money is made available.