CNMI moves to abolish Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation

7:12 pm on 26 January 2018

A bill to abolish the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation and re-establish it as a department under the Executive Branch has been introduced in the CNMI House of Representatives.

The governor of the Northern Marianas, Ralph Torres.

Ralph Torres Photo: CNMI Republican Facebook

Governor Ralph Torres earlier said he was unhappy with the management of the corporation, which runs the only hospital in the Northern Marianas.

In response, House vice speaker Janet Maratita drafted the bill to turn the corporation back into the Department of Public Health under the Office of the Governor.

Ms Maratita said her bill was not connected to efforts by the governor this month to remove the corporation's chief executive Esther Muña.

The former department was abolished in 2011 and replaced with the corporation to make it more efficient and self-sustaining.

The move to replace the department was also due to its failure to comply with United States medical financing conditions for healthcare organisations to have a governing body.

Critics say the plan to revert back to the department may result in the hospital becoming non-compliant once again.

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