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Emergency Medical Services legislation introduced in House

Faipule Faimealelei Anthony Allen

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The number of reversals and setbacks faced by the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has prompted the move by Faipule Faimealelei Anthony Allen to propose an Emergency Medical Care System Act under the American Samoa Code Annotated.

The proposed bill was introduced in the House last week, and would create Title 33 A.S.C.A.

The proposed act has six chapters, Emergency Medical care system act; American Samoa Office of EMS; American Samoa Emergency Care Commission; Emergency Medical care provider licensing; Emergency medical service licensing and Emergency medical services for children program.

“This is an act of institutionally development, implementation, regulation and evaluation of emergency medical care systems.

 “In order to establish, promote and maintain comprehensive emergency medical care systems throughout American Samoa this act provides for, the promotion and provision for all components of comprehensive and effective emergency medical care systems to ensure optimum patient care for the citizens and visitors of American Samoa.

According to the proposed bill, the office of EMS shall be composed of a full-time salaried EMS director and sufficient supporting staff to efficiently fulfill the purpose of emergency medical care system development.

 “Staff shall include a medical director who shall be American Samoa licensed physician with board certification in Emergency Medicine, Family Practices or General Surgery, and with training and experienced in emergency medical services 

Also the office of EMS has the powers and duties to provide leadership and coordination to the emergency medical care community in assessing, planning and developing a comprehensive, evidence based emergency medical care system integrated with the overall health care system.

The bill says the EMS commission shall have the authority to work with the office of EMS to make regulations, not inconsistent with the provision of this Act , and amend or repeal them as it deems necessary, to carry out the intent of the provision of this Act and to enable it to exercise the powers and duties conferred upon it on all matters relating to development and implementation of the American Samoa emergency medical care system. 

 “The Commission shall consist of seven voting members which are appointed by the Governor and who shall serve at his pleasure.

 “At his discretion, the Governor shall appointment members for terms as prescribed below, two Members who are physicians with experienced in emergency medicine or trauma care’ one member who is registered nurse with experienced in emergency nursing; three members who are from the Department of Search and Rescue at least two of whom are EMT- basic providers and who are trained in advanced life support.

 “One member who represents LBJ hospital; and in addition the governor shall also appoint to the commission four non-voting members; each from the Office of Highway Safety; Department of Homeland security; EMSC advisory committee, and from the Legislature.  

 The bill proposes that the commission shall meet at least once per quarter. “A quorum is four voting members. The commission may meet via video teleconference or by telephone. 

 “The members of the Commission shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses.” 

 The Commission has the powers and duties to monitor, review, and evaluate the operations, administration, and efficacy of the emergency medical care system, or any components thereof, to determine conformity with and maximum implementation of this Act, among other things including planning and policy.