American Samoa Hospital Calls On Everyone To Pay Outstanding Bill

CEO: Lawmakers, foreigners and sponsors who owe money face civil cases

Translated by Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, July 20, 2016) – Hospital Chief Executive Officer Taufete’e John Faumuina says there are lawmakers who owe money to the hospital for medical bills and the hospital is planning to take these matters to civil court, he said in an interview with Samoa News, last week.

The Hospital CEO declined to name the lawmakers who have outstanding medical bills, noting that LBJ is currently working with the ASG to help with the collection. Taufete’e made it clear that they are also going after foreigners who have medical bills and they are going after their sponsors as well.

Taufete’e says the public needs to pay their medical bills as the hospital budget is allocated to pay personnel and supplies, and to keep the operation of the hospital running smoothly. However, they cannot do that when the public does not want to pay their medical bills.

He says another issue at hand with the hospital is that the public has the mentality that they are entitled to see the physicians free of charge, but that is not the case. The hospital cannot turn away anyone who seeks medical attention, but that does not mean that the public should see the doctors for free.

Another issue he made clear was that the chapel is free to the public.

Last week Puleleiite Tufele Li’amatua asked the House Health Committee about his constituents’ concerns regarding a payment being required prior to use of the chapel. House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale supported Puleleiite’s comments and questions. Savali noted that it’s important to get to the core of this matter, as this was never the case in the past.

During an interview with Samoa News, Taufete’e dispelled these concerns saying they are not true as the hospital still offers the chapel free of charge for families who wish to use the facility. Taufete’e did however make it clear that the hospital is still charging for the morgue that is adjacent to the chapel.

A call to the LBJ Business Office elicited the following information:

 The morgue bill includes an embalming charge — $300 for adults and $150 for children up to 11 years old; and for storage, the first 7 days is $10, and any day beyond the seven is charged $20 per day.

There is no charge for the chapel according to the office.

The Samoa News
Copyright © 2016. The Samoa News. All Rights Reserved

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