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Thursday, April 24, 2014

DR. WALKER FILES REQUEST FOR CHC PRIVILEGE:
Corporation seeks more requirements

A former physician of the Commonwealth Health Center, Dr. Grant Walker, has submitted a “privilege request” to the public hospital but a decision in the matter has been stalled as the physician still needs to turn in additional documents.

Saipan Tribune learned that the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., through interim CEO Esther Muna, had responded to the doctor’s request with information on how such a privilege can be obtained.

It was learned that for a privilege request to be approved, a number of requirements must be turned in to the corporation’s credentials committee, which reviews all documents.

One of the most important requirements, it was learned, is proof or evidence of the applicant’s financial responsibility—a mandatory requirement for medical and staff members of the corporation. This can be any insurance coverage or other proof of financial capability of the applicant that is satisfactory to the corporation’s governing board.

Saipan Tribune was also told that “membership is a requirement to practice at CHC” and is applicable to all attending doctors and physician assistants, especially for doctors not employed by the CHCC.

In the case of Walker, who wants to return and serve either at the public hospital or in the private sector, this “evidence of financial responsibility” must be provided to CHCC.

Saipan Tribune tried to obtain comments from Walker but he has yet to respond as of press time.

CHCC hired Walker from Idaho to serve as the hospital’s orthopedic surgeon for 30 days. But prior to his contract’s expiration, CHC terminated Walker’s medical privileges due to a host of issues that included alleged unprofessional misconduct and insubordination, among others.

Medical privilege allows a physician to use the treatment facilities of the public hospital for their surgeries and operation. Losing this privilege, a doctor—whether in public or private clinics—cannot operate or provide services to clients.

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