Chapter 10 - Health Services
Chapter 10 - Health Services
No person may practice medicine or dentistry, or give treatment for the prevention of disease, unless that person is licensed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(a) There is created a Health Services Regulatory Board, referred to in this chapter as the Board.
(b) The purpose of the Board shall be to regulate health services in American Samoa.
(c) Health services include any practice of medicine, dentistry, or nursing, including treating the sick or injured or treatment in the prevention of diseases and all training and education therefor.
(a) The Board is composed of the Director of Health, who shall act as chairman, and, in addi-tion, the Governor shall appoint to the Board 1 physician, the public health officer, the Director of Nursing Services, a medical officer, a dentist, a licensed practical nurse, and a representative from the American Samoa Community College nursing program. At least 50% of the Board, excluding the chairman, must be American Samoans.
(b) The presence of 4/5 of all members of the Board is necessary to constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business, and a majority vote of those present is necessary to determine any issue.
(c) Appointments made by the Governor may not exceed 3 years and must be staggered in order to insure continuity of the Board.
The Board may carry out its functions through the use of committees, which shall specialize in particular areas of health services, such as nursing, medicine and pharmacy; provided, that those powers and duties exclusively reserved for exercise by the Board may be exercised only by the Board.
(a) The exclusive powers and duties of the Board are to:
(1) require committees to establish licensing regulations necessary for the maintenance of professional competence and ethical standards among persons involved in the particular area of health services in which the committee has expertise;
(2) issue or renew, refuse, limit, modify, suspend, or revoke any license issued by the Board;
(3) appoint committee members, provided that 1 member of the Board shall serve on each committee;
(4) upon matters referred by committees or any Board member, hold hearings, compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses; order production of documents and other tangible evidence and administer oaths;
(5) administer or cause to be administered examinations required by committees for licensing;
(6) set fees for examinations and licensing reasonably related to the cost thereof;
(7) adopt regulations promulgated by committees which pertain to a committee’s area of expertise and do not conflict with other regulations adopted by the Board.
(b) All powers and duties relating to the purpose of the Board not expressly reserved to the Board may be exercised by committees, or in the absence of a functioning committee, by the Board; provided, that where the Board and a committee are in disagreement on a particular matter the decision of the Board shall prevail.
All proceedings respecting the promulgation of rules and the refusal, suspension, revocation, or modification of a license issued by the Board, and judicial review thereof, must be in accor-dance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act set forth in 4.1001 et seq.
The Board shall maintain a record of all licenses issued which shall include the date of issuance, date of any revocation, suspension, or modification and the reason therefor.
All licenses issued by the Board shall be of unlimited duration unless otherwise limited, revoked, or suspended by the Board pursuant to this chapter or the regulations of the Board.
A license may be refused, revoked, suspended, modified, or limited for any 1 or combination of the following grounds:
(1) conviction of felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude; a copy of the record of conviction, certified to by the clerk of the court entering the conviction, shall be conclusive evidence;
(2) habitual or excessive use of intoxicants or drugs;
(3) fraud or misrepresentation in applying for or procuring a license to practice in American Samoa or in any hearings before the Board;
(4) making false or misleading statements regarding one’s skill or the efficacy or value of the medicine, treatment or remedy prescribed or administered by one or at one’s direction in the treatment of any disease or other condition of the human body or mind;
(5) aiding or abetting the practice of an unlicensed person in the field of health services;
(6) mental illness as evidenced by an adjudication or by voluntary commitment to an institution for treatment of mental illness, or as determined by an examination conducted by an impartial psychiatrist retained by the Board;
(7) gross negligence in the practice of a profession or occupation licensed by the Board;
(8) the suspension or revocation by another state of a license for a profession or occupation licensed by the health services regulatory Board of American Samoa; a certified copy of the suspension or revocation of the state making such suspension or revocation is conclusive evidence thereof;
(9) unprofessional or dishonorable conduct in light of the standards of the profession or occupation licensed.
Violation of any provision of this chapter or duly promulgated rules and regulations of the health services regulatory Board relating thereto is a class A misdemeanor.
In any prosecution under 31.1010, or any decision made by the Board relative to licensing, it shall be sufficient to sustain such conviction or decision to show a single violative act of con-duct, and it shall not be necessary to show a general course of such conduct.