After receiving no response from the kin of an overstaying patient and inaction from the Chinese Association in the CNMI, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. has turned to the U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China for the immediate repatriation of Chinese citizen Jing Zhi Quiang, who has been confined at the Commonwealth Health Center for the past three years.
Corporation CEO Juan N. Babauta formally sent a correspondence to U.S. Ambassador to China Gary F. Locke appealing for assistance in contacting the Chinese government to take custody of Quiang.
Quiang was admitted at the hospital on Feb. 23, 2010 after he suffered self-inflicted injuries at the airport. He was treated at CHC but has become comatose since then. Babauta was designated guardian of the patient after none of Quiang's kin was contacted to take custody. Quiang, 49, hurt himself when he was about to be deported in 2010.
“I am appealing to you for assistance in contacting the People's Republic of China to take custody of Mr. Quiang because we have been caring for him at the cost of the CNMI taxpayers and we have simply cannot afford to care for him any longer,” stated Babauta's recent letter to the ambassador.
Besides transfer of custody request, the CEO also asked the assistance of the ambassador in requesting the Chinese government to reimburse CHC for the medical expenses of Quiang.
The corporation has spent approximately $1.5 million for Quiang's medical services including his emergency treatment, hospital room, doctors, nurses, medicine, and other supplies.
“We have tried to contact the Chinese Association in the CNMI, the Chinese Consular Office, the patient's family, and his previous employers to assist the hospital in repatriating Mr. Quiang back to China but to no avail,” disclosed Babauta to the ambassador.
The CEO added that CHC has been caring for the patient for almost three years but the hospital is in a critical financial situation at this time and it cannot continue to care for the patient without payment for his medical services.
“We think we have done way and above our humanitarian hand to keep him alive and it is time to reach out to the People's Republic of China to care for Mr. Quiang and to return him to his family in China,” he added.
Babauta is hopeful on the favorable response from the ambassador.
Compared to the then-Department of Public Health that received $36 million in local appropriation, CHCC is operating as an independent agency that relies heavily on its own revenues and collection since October 2011.
Due to scarce resources, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid cited the hospital for operating without the necessary supplies, medical equipment, and lack of medical personnel-all due to limited funds.