31 Jan 2012

Northern Marianas public hospital staff await allowances

2:36 pm on 31 January 2012

Nurses at the public hospital in Northern Marianas are among staff still waiting for housing allowances.

Last week, the Northern Marianas Governor quickly transferred 261,000 US dollars from the Department of Finance to the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation, so hospital doctors could be paid.

But the Corporation still needs some 800,000 dollars to meet its bi-weekly payroll.

Our correspondent in Saipan, Mark Rabago, says other staff members now want their entitlements.

"The hospital has a lot of things going on there. There was also news that the nurses and their healthcare staff are not getting their monthly housing benefits, so they are really really in a bind now when it comes to money. So at least they paid their doctors. I hope the next step is some money generation and collecting past due billings, so that they can pay, and not only the salaries, but also the housing benefits."

Mark Rabago says the hospital intends to start billing private doctors for any resources they use, and is chasing up millions owed to it in unpaid hospital bills, dating back up to five years.