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Senate confirms Afamasaga Dr. Talifa Talifa unanimously to hospital board

Afamasaga Dr. Talifa Talifa

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Afamasaga Dr. Talifa Talifa is the newest member of the LBJ Medical Center Board of Directors. He was confirmed in the Senate yesterday morning in an unanimous vote.

During the hearing, Senate President Tuaolo Manaia Fruean asked Afamasaga for his views on having a second hospital, and he was enthusiastically in favor of it.

 “It’s a great idea to have a second hospital considering the increasing number of patients and it’s suitable given we have a lot of doctors on hand and a new hospital will definitely alleviate the overcrowding at the current hospital.

Tuaolo pointed out that there are not enough doctors working at LBJ.

Afamasaga noted that while that may be the case, there are also doctors’ assistants that can lend a hand when required.

The new 40-bed hospital in question is planned for the Lions Park area and is currently on hold due to a lease dispute.

As reported earlier, the LBJ hospital Chief Executive Officer Moefa’auo Bill Emmsley hopes that the Governor will “consider” diverting the funding for the new hospital to renovate the current LBJ hospital.

 “The LBJ hospital needs to be upgraded, in terms of infrastructure, facilities, medical equipment and more importantly physicians and nurses, where we are very much in need,” said Moefaauo in an earlier interview with Samoa News.

Afamasaga who retired as head of dental services at the Dept. of Health last year will replace Dr. Joseph Tufa, whose term has expired.

Governor Lemanu P. S Mauga in his recommendation letter noted that Afamasaga has decades of experience in dental medicine and administration, beginning in 1980 in the Maternal Child and Health Programs at the Medical Center, continuing to advance through his 27 years there, and culminating as Chief Dentist at the Department of Health for 14 years until his retirement this year.

 “Dr. Talifa’s dedication to local health care, commitment to continuing education, and extensive public administration experience would be a vital asset to this Board,” the governor said in his recommendation to lawmakers.