Tinian Health Center resident director William Cing disclosed yesterday that the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. has yet to decide on the transfer of a doctor from Rota to work at the Tinian clinic.
While waiting for word from the corporation, a midlevel provider is taking charge of the delivery of healthcare services to Tinian patients, Cing said, referring to nurse practitioner Arley Long, who he said works Monday to Friday and is on-call during weekends.
The corporation temporarily assigned Dr. Dan Lamar to the Tinian center after Dr. Frank Pair died on Jan. 8. Cing said this assignment lasted only a week and was later covered by Long who came returned from personal leave.
Cing stressed that nothing has changed in the delivery of services at the Tinian Health Center. He said the process remains the same: The midlevel provider makes the initial diagnosis, treatment, and refers patients to the Commonwealth Health Center for further tests and evaluation. All emergency cases are referred to Saipan.
THC, which mostly serves as an outpatient clinic, accommodates a stable number of about 25 to 30 patients daily, he said, while about two to four patients usually come in on weekends.
In view of the critical need for a permanent physician at THC, the corporation wants to re-assign one of the two physicians on Rota to Tinian. The choice is between Drs. Francois Claassens and James Toskas, who've both been working at the Rota Health Center for many years now.
The Tinian Health Center has been operating without a full-time doctor since Dr. Steven Lebamoff’s resignation last year. Pair was recruited in October last year through an agency and was hired under an independent contract.
THC has about 30 personnel including its resident director. These employees include nine nurses, a laboratory technician, an x-ray technician, two pharmacists, two staff for environmental health, one staff for the medical supply office, two for housekeeping, two trade maintenance workers, and three at its accounting unit. THC provides both inpatient and emergency care.