AMERICAN SAMOA HOSPITAL CONCERNED OVER FOREIGNER BIRTHS

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (August 13, 1998 - Samoa News)---A policy barring non-bonafide foreign residents, non- U.S. nationals or non-U.S. citizen women who are six months pregnant from entering the territory should be reinstated, recommended the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the LBJ Tropical Medical Center, Taufete'e John Faumuina.

The recommendation, according to the CEO, follows a recent increase in non- resident women giving birth at the hospital at Fagaalu.

He said his main concern is the additional burden on health services and facilities. And he believes that such a practice is taking away services for legitimate residents who are not U.S. nationals or U.S. citizens.

"This policy may be misinterpreted as against our cousins from neighboring Samoa, but we have to be realistic," said Taufete'e. "The more services, the more the demand and the more money will go out of the hospital's budget to accommodate the costs."

He said that not only Samoan women are taking advantage of the relaxed enforcement by immigration officials, immigrants from Tonga, Fiji and other neighboring Pacific Island countries are capitalizing on it as well.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to samoanews@samoatelco.com.

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