STEEP FEE INCREASE AT AM. SAMOA HOSPITAL GOES AHEAD

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Outpatient fees jump 400% percent without ‘tangible financial’ help

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 31, 2012) – The LBJ Hospital in American Samoa says it will go ahead with fee hikes from next Monday.

The Chairman of the Hospital Authority Board of Directors Moananu Va says the increases will go ahead because no steps have been taken to give tangible financial assistance to keep the hospital open.

The new rate schedule hikes the outpatient fee from 10 U.S. dollars to 50 dollars for all clinics.

Moananu says the Dialysis Clinic will be 250 dollars per visit and there will be an increase from 50 to 100 dollars per day for inpatient stays for all wards

The rate increase was delayed after being asked by the fono to allow the government time to respond to the hospital’s need.

He says cash projections now indicate LBJ will be unable to pay vendors or make payroll on February 22nd.

[PIR editor’s note: Candidate for governor Save Liuato Tuilele said, while in a healthcare seminar, that a female student with heart problems allegedly died in 2011 while waiting for treatment at the LBJ hospital. Tuilele alleged that the student was asked if she had money to pay for treatment, which she did not have at the time, and she died while waiting for her parents to bring the money.]

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