28 Sep 2009

Northern Marianas Governor to act over hospital staffing crisis

8:12 pm on 28 September 2009

The Northern Marianas government is planning to declare a public health state of emergency.

Governor Benigno Fitial, who made the announcement at the weekend, used a similar device last year over the territory's power supply crisis.

A spokesperson in the governor's office, Charles Reyes, says the latest state of emergency is to help address the shortage of specialists at the government hospital.

"The governor is taking the necessary actions to stabilise the situation in public health where we have a shortage of doctors, it's difficult to recruit qualified doctors to come out here, this is a fairly remote area in the Pacific, it's a very competitive marketplace for medical professionals, it's a challenge."

Charles Reyes says the emergency declaration will help facilitate the hiring of doctors from the Philippines and other countries.