American Samoa hospice funding queried

The American Samoa government‘s proposed funding to the only hospice facility in the territory has been called into question by a lawmaker.

The government‘s proposed 2019 budget, shows that $US100,000 is being allocated to Hope House, which is operated by the Diocese of Samoa-Pago Pago, and cares for the elderly, severely disabled and terminally ill.

Hope House American Samoa Photo: RNZ Pacific /Fili Sagapolutele

Senator Magalei Logovi‘i said he supportted the intention of the allocation and acknowledged that Hope House serves everyone but he said it is still affiliated to a church.

Mr Logovi‘i said in the many years he has worked in government it was the first time he had seen this type of public allocation to a church affiliated operation.

He said there should be separation of church and government.

Mr Logovi‘i requested an official opinion from the attorney-general to be submitted to the Fono before the end of next week.