18 Sep 2009

American Samoa Senator says LBJ has no money for off-island referrals

9:33 am on 18 September 2009

American Samoa Senator, Galeai Tuufuli, says about 15 patients are "hanging on to dear life" while waiting for government help to send them off-island for medical treatment.

LBJ hospital's $1 million allocation for the off island medical referral program for fiscal year 2009 was depleted in December last year.

In the new fiscal year 2010, which begins on Oct. 1, this year, there is no funding allocation because it was deleted by the executive branch.

Galeai says he met early this week with hospital officials and found 45 patients on the list to be sent off-island for medical treatment but no government funding.

He says 15 patients, including five babies, need urgent treatment.

Galeai says if something happens to these people, itwill be criminal negligence on the part of the government.