09th August, 2012
A total of 53 people are so far considering running for the American Samoa House of Representatives in November.
20 of the 21 seats in the House will be up for grabs.
The chief election officer, Soliai Fuimaono, says 16 petitions have been filed with the necessary signatures and are now being verified by his staff.
The district with the most intending candidates is Tuala-uta where 8 people are preparing to contest the 2 seats.
At the last election in 2010 the incumbents Faipule Larry Sanitoa and TapumanaiaGalu Satele Jr. were returned unopposed.
In another development, in the month since American Samoa’s LBJ Hospital raised its outpatient fees, it has seen an increase in inpatient numbers while outpatient traffic has dropped.
Local residents now pay US$20 to see the doctor while non residents pay US$105.
The hospital’s CEO Michael Gerstenberger told a hearing of the House health committee that patient revenues have also increased.
“It looks like the inpatient volume actually went up this July, relative to the previous July, about 7 percent, and about 5 percent from all Julys in the past 5 years. So that’s good news. That suggests to us that really sick people who absolutely need care are still getting it.”
Gerstenberger said 4,000 people or 400 families are included in the LBJ’s sliding scale program, which offers discounts based on household income and size.
RNZI via PACNEWS