Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that as part of the FY 2010 appropriations process for Labor, Health, and Education, he is requesting $1 million for the purchase of critically needed surgical supplies and medical laboratory and blood bank equipment at the LBJ Tropical Medical Center.
“In 2008, I requested $1 million for the purchase of dialysis and diagnostic medical equipment, and Congress supported my request by setting aside $624,000 for these purposes,” Faleomavaega said. “It is my understanding that the hospital has purchased about ten new dialysis machines as a result of this funding and, in my most recent communication with Ms. Pat Tindall, CEO of LBJ, she has suggested what LBJ now needs most is surgical supplies and medical laboratory and blood bank equipment.”
“I am pleased to support this request as I firmly believe health care and education should be our number one priorities in American Samoa. This is why I have worked to do what can be done at the federal level to bring down LBJ health care costs by increasing Medicaid caps to free up money for the hospital. This is why I also worked with our supporters to establish a new VA clinic to provide basic services for our veterans, who are still flown to Hawaii as necessary, and my office continues to be in discussions about how we can best resolve outstanding issues between LBJ and our VA.”
“Generally, during the appropriations process, we are also able to get about $1 million per year from the LHHS appropriations, which I alternate between LBJ and our schools. Last year, for example, I was able to set aside $618,000 for our Samoan Language program for K-12.”
“At the local level, I am also hopeful that with the $10 million ASG receives every year in CIP funds, and the $23 million for the operations of the government, that more money will be set aside by our local government for healthcare. While we are not certain that Congress will be able to honor the most recent request I have made for LBJ due to the uncertainty of our nation’s economy, I will keep our people updated as this matter progresses,” Faleomavaega concluded.