10 Aug 2015

Staffing crisis at American Samoa's only hospital

8:10 am on 10 August 2015
LBJ hospital, American Samoa

LBJ hospital, American Samoa Photo: RNZI

A paediatrician at American Samoa's LBJ hospital says there's a staffing and resource crisis, and doctors are at breaking point treating seriously sick children.

Doctor Tanga Broge has told parliament's Health Committee medical staff are being stretched too thin.

She says she has decided not to renew her contract with the hospital as the unrealistic rostering means doctors are sleeping at the hospital between extended shifts.

"In the last two weeks we've taken care of children with very severe illness which is why our on-call has been exhausting. Meningitis, leukemia, sepsis, heart failure. We've had multiple codes and intubations in the last two weeks alone. In order to provide safe and competent care, the current staffing situation is unsustainable and is not safe."

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