Anthony Raho will remain on the board of Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. representing the non-physician sector after he accepted the request of the board to continue serving despite exiting from the Commonwealth Health Center.
Raho was the Commonwealth Health Center's in-house pharmacist and was elected by his peers to represent their voices on the corporation board. He quit his job at the hospital early this month to join a private clinic as its pharmacist.
Corporation board chair Joaquin Torres told Saipan Tribune that, in his opinion, Raho can continue his term on the board despite not being employed at the hospital because he was elected by a majority of non-physicians. Torres said the law that created the corporation did not stipulate that non-physician representative to the board should specifically come from the public hospital.
“I don't believe there's a requirement [in the law] that you have to be an employee of CHC. All it requires is for the member to be elected by non-physicians [at the hospital]. If those employees still feel that Raho can adequately represent them, it's fine with the board,” Torres said.
He said that after reviewing the law's mandate, he wrote Raho and asked him to continue on the board.
“He's an effective member and I value his input in a lot of issues before the board. I believe Mr. Raho represented his peers very well and as long as employees are satisfied with his performance, I am for it,” said Torres, adding that the board hasn't heard any employee wishing to replace Raho on the post.
Raho confirmed receiving Torres' letter and said that if it's the wish of the board, he will continue to serve on the board.
To forestall any legal issues, Raho said he sought the legal opinion of the corporation's lawyer but there has been no response yet.
According to Torres, absent the legal opinion, Raho should continue his term as his membership is still in good standing. “But I believe, there's no need for a legal opinion because the law is very clear,” he added.
Raho started working at the public hospital in August 1996 as staff pharmacist. Three months later, he was promoted to director of the Pharmacy Section. When the corporation took over in October last year, he was elected to represent the non-physician employees of CHC.
With Raho's departure, CHC is left with only one in-patient pharmacist and the corporation is in the process of bringing in a locum pharmacist. Since Raho's departure, the hospital's inpatient pharmacy was ordered closed during weekends.