CHCC on proposed $5.5M budget: We are open to discussion


The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive office said yesterday that she remains open to discussing the corporation’s budget for fiscal year 2019.

CHCC CEO Esther Muña told Saipan Tribune yesterday that although she is grateful to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ proposed budget of a little over $5.5 million appropriated toward the corporation, the amount is not enough.

“We feel it is important to recognize that reimbursing CHCC for the costs of providing health care to the indigent is essential in providing overall quality health care to all the people of the CNMI,” said Muña. “We are grateful to the administration for recognizing this and allocating this amount for CHCC in FY 2019.”

According to Muña, CHCC requested for an appropriation of over $29.8 million for fiscal year 2019. Saipan Tribune failed to obtain a copy of the CHCC budget request.

Muña said the budget request comprises the ”shortfall of treating the indigent and the shortfall of the Medicaid compensation.”

“We are open to discussing this shortfall further with the governor and the lawmakers on the need for this requested amount,” she said.

CHCC for fiscal year 2018 requested a budget of over $90 million, while it asked for $46.2 million for fiscal year 2017. The CNMI Legislature appropriated $844,933 and $708,311 to CHCC for fiscal years 2017 and 2018, respectively. For fiscal year 2016, the Legislature appropriated over $2.8 million.

Torres in a press release last Monday announced that of the $258.1 million CNMI budget for fiscal year 2019, about $5.5 million goes to CHCC.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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