Today's Samoa News article

Talofa,   Thanks for the opportunity to join in this important effort.

Thought you all might be interested in today's Samoa News front page article entitled: "LBJ CEO says scholarship offered to ensure "Samoan" doctors continue at LBJ".  If you have access to Samoa News online you can read it in its entirely there.   Just a couple of interesting quotes here:

" The hospital CEO hopes that students who are interested will take up this opportunity as it's fully funded by the LBJ."    Don't know of any other hospital that uses its operational funds to finance scholarships for medical students.  I thought this was a function of government. (my comments) 

Samoa News reporter also notes: " (Samoa News should point out this is not the first time LBJ has offered a scholarship for medical studies.  During Taufete'e's first tenure as LBJ CEO a scholarship was awarded to one of his immediate family members)"

Also this:  "Last year July, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga in a letter to former hospital board chairman Mase Akapo, said the hospital needs to set up a scholarship program, specifically for students to attend accredited off island medical institutions or schools.

He said that is one way to ease the hospital's dependence on US and foreign physicians and improve LBJ's self-reliance and the board must reactivate the practice of sending "our people" to the Fiji School of Medicine with the provision that they will sit and pass their USMLE exam before a license is issued to practice in American Samoa".   Another example of political interference in the decision-making process of the hospital.  A fundamental problem with our Hospital Authority type organization, with Governor appointed board. (my comments).

"Samoa News asked Taufete'e about the hospital's requirement for physicians to be United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) certified; and the CEO said that such certification is no longer required of physicians hired by the hospital for the time being.

He said the reason why its important for physicians to be USMLE certified is for the hospital to have "easy access" to Medicare and Medicaid funds, but its not required by the hospital itself."

Food for thought.  Just keeping up with the news.              Mick


Mick's picture





My concern is with the fact of sending to Fiji and then expecting them to pass the USMLE.  Really?  These are two very different countries, curriculums, educations... And the USMLE covers the entire US medical schooling from day 1.  Those who have passed will tell you it is not something you can just walk on and pass.  Some take years of study.  So why not just fund to US schools for those that qualify.  Without US licensing, we WILL be in trouble and LOSE our 'Medicare if we do not watch out.  Yes, they can hire if they want, but at the risk of losing Medicare.  Granted, it would be nice to be independent and free standing, but American Samoa is not ready for this.  People would then have to pay for services, and most without any insurance...  Considering the timing too, seems like a political ploy to re elect Lolo...