During the Samoa talks in Apia last week, the CEO of the LBJ Hospital requested Samoa’s assistance in accommodating patients from the territory who would be transiting to New Zealand for medical treatment.
CEO Faumuina Taufetee John Faumuina said with the Mediciad program now covering transportation and medical treatment for local residents in New Zealand, they asked for Samoa’s help for patients who are not mobile and have to travel on a stretcher.
He said the CEO of Samoa’s Health Ministry, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri has agreed for patients from American Samoa needing medical care in transit to be housed at the the district hospital at Mulifanua.
This hospital, which was built by the US Government, is just a stone’s throw away from Falelolo Airport.
Faumuina said during the discussions in Apia, Dr. Naseri reminded that in this day and age, everything costs, alluding to this service not being free.
The Director of the American Samoa Medicaid Office, Sandra King Young, informed him that the cost of transit care would be covered by Medicaid.
Since the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services gave approval recently to pay for health providers in New Zealand to treat off island referrals from the territory, one local patient has been taken to Auckland for treatment.
An air ambulance from New Zealand flew here to pick up the female patient who was in critical condition following a stroke.
She is reported to be recovering well.