26 Jan 2012

CNMI hospital to charge private doctors

9:01 am on 26 January 2012

Suitable fees are being worked out for private doctors choosing to utilise public hospital facilities in the Northern Maraianas.

The main hospital's CEO Juan Babauta said the practice of private doctors using hospital facilities free of charge for a number of proceedures has not helped the cash strapped hospital's financial situation.

Our correspondent Mark Rabago says the CEO feels payment is now necessary and will work on a financial arrangement with private doctors.

"Some of the procedures cannot be done in the private hospitals. Whenever these private doctors do use the public hospital, they aren't billed for the medicines they use, for blankets, for the rooms or even for the nurses accompanying doctors for the procedures, they aren't being billed. So in effect, these doctors are getting a free ride."

Mark Rabago says unpaid bills dating back years has also contributed to the hospital's tight financial situation.