5 Sep 2009

Mobile hospital in CNMI a first for Western Pacific

9:27 am on 5 September 2009

The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas has become the first country in the Western Pacific region to own a mobile field hospital.

The federally funded hospital has all the features of an ordinary hospital including an emergency room, laboratory, and isolation room, and has a capacity of 50 beds.

It will primarily be used during disasters and can be set up in a few minutes.

It is self-sustaining with its own power source, air conditioning unit, water and plumbing system, and negative pressure capabilities.

Instructors from the US mainland will conduct training next week on how to use the hospital.

The CNMI Office of Homeland Security funded the project, worth 414-thousand US dollars.

Acting Public Health Secretary Pete Untalan says they also plan to put mobile hospitals on both Tinian and Rota, although these would have about 25 beds.

The Bioterrorism Pandemic Flu Preparedness Office says there is a mobile hospital in Hawaii but it is owned by the international airport.