Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 19 Dec 2017 12am







    Monday, December 18, 2017-6:23:58P.M.






Font Size


Rep. Angel Demapan eyes $5.4M for CHCC, CUC

REPRESENTATIVE Angel Demapan will introduce a measure to appropriate $5.4 million of the annual Saipan casino license fee for the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.

The House will hold a session today, Tuesday, starting at 10 a.m.

Demapan said Public Law 20-10 appropriates $9.5 million of the $11 million casino license fee for the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation to support various projects. The remaining $1.5 million will fund the Saipan Higher Education Financial Assistance program.

Of the $9.5 million for the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation, Demapan said he will propose the allotment of $5.4 million to fund the following critical needs that were identified following consultations with the Office of the Governor, CHCC and CUC:

For CHCC — hospital equipment upgrades and repair; infant ventilator; pharmacy hood, Pyxis-ICU and Pyxis-Anesthesia, anesthesia machine, maternal and fetal monitoring system and software, patient monitoring system for emergency room and operating room, fixed radiology system, laparoscopic system complete with monitor for operating rooms, maintenance of a sufficient healthcare workforce and reduced overtime, and fees sufficient to cover the cost of services.

For CUC — turbo-charger retrofitting of four engines at the Saipan power plant and a wastewater pretreatment system.

The House Committee on Ways and Means chaired by Rep. Angel Demapan discusses several bills during a meeting on Monday.  Photo by Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

“Since the enactment of Public Law 20-10,” Demapan said, “we now have significant resources from the exclusive gaming annual license fees which we can use to fund critical public services within our senatorial district. I would like to thank Gov. Ralph Torres and Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog for their continued commitment to work closely with the legislative delegation in identifying these critical needs aimed at providing optimum public services for the long-term.”

He added, “Infant ventilators, for example, are used to provide ill or premature babies with assistance breathing. Providing support for the purchase of two new infant ventilators will improve patient care for new-born babies and limit the costs to parents for continued support required if complications persist. The last working infant ventilator broke down in Jan. 2017 after 25 years of service.”

Demapan said “following a July 10, 2017 inspection by C-Scan Technologies, the existing sterile pharmacy compounding equipment was found deficient and did not pass inspection as it did not comply with USP 797 and USP 800 standards. C-Scan Technologies recommended the immediate procurement of two new pharmacy hoods to meet compliance.”

He said CHCC was cited in 2013 and 2014 for issues related to the delivery of pharmaceutical services. To avoid future citations and to strengthen compliance, CHCC need to purchase Pyxis-ICU and Pyxis-Anesthesia, he added.

Likewise, the radiology system must be fixed as it is a 25-year-old system with limited features, he said, adding that upgrading it will reduce CHCC’s costs and will provide greater opportunities for doctors and other medical professionals to diagnose and treat patients.

Demapan said additional funding is also needed for the recruitment, repatriation, airfare and other necessary expenses in developing the necessary human resources to ensure a sufficient healthcare workforce and reduce overtime if the federal CW program extension is not granted by the U.S. government.