American Samoa

Information for Patients
There is one hospital in American Samoa, a group of 5 islands/2 atolls, managed by the Department of Public Health’s hospital board. It is situated on the island of Tutuila in Pago Pago. The United States of America enforces the rules and regulations for its operation. Sometimes it is necessary to send patients off-island for treatment (mostly to Honolulu’s private hospitals and the Tripler Army Medical Center), but concerns exist about its high cost. In the future, patients may be referred to New Zealand and Australia to reduce cost. Concerns also exist about the competence of health care providers and supply/equipment rations. It is important to note that the population is increasing rapidly through both immigration from neighboring islands and high birth rates. This will, of course put pressure on the healthcare system. 

Information for Health Care Professionals
Most medical practitioners are U.S.-trained expatriates working on short-term contracts (usually for 2 years). Gaps in services exist, such as specialists, and delays in hiring health professionals are frequent. On a quarterly basis, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs send doctors to American Samoa, usually providing eligibility assessments rather than medical treatments. Medical officers who are trained at the Pacific Basin Medical Officers Training Program first complete internship and then are offered postgraduate training, but American Samoan medical officers must repeat one or 2 years of undergraduate coursework to obtain a M.B.B.S. award. Licensed practical and registered nurses require U.S. national certification standards.

Information for Travelers 
Travelers are recommended to purchase travel insurance and receive the necessary vaccinations before travel, with those born in or after 1957 to provide evidence of measles vaccination.

Ministry of Health in American Samoa: