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Governor overrides loan agreement requiring cuts

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 17, 2012) – The LBJ Hospital in American Samoa has ended the reduced work hours for employees effective from the beginning of this week.

The shorter hours were brought in early March to cut costs.

The LBJ Hospital CEO Mike Gerstenberger says the Governor Togiola Tulafono issued a letter late last week relieving the hospital of the terms of the agreement for the three million U.S. dollar loan from the Workman’s Compensation Fund.

The loan agreement required the hospital to cut the hours of non-exempt employees and close some clinics.

Outpatient clinics, which had been closed on Fridays, will also open again from this Friday.

The CEO also announced that higher facility fees for the hospital should come into effect some time in May.

But Mr. Gerstenberger says the hospital is not out of financial difficulty.

He says the LBJ had not received any additional financial aid despite a Special Session of the Fono, and the governor has made it clear there’ll be no additional money from the government this fiscal year.

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