The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. proposes a $90-million budget for fiscal year 2018, a sum that House Committee on Ways and Means chair Rep. Angel Demapan (R-Saipan) wants to “thoroughly review.”
“The amount is quite significant, so we would thoroughly review their request to see what areas are critical and essential and try to bring the level down. One thing to note is their projected revenue has increased drastically,” said Demapan, who is happy to hear that the hospital is earning money.
CHCC’s projected revenue for fiscal year 2018 is set at $74 million, an 80-percent increase over the fiscal year 2017 projected revenue of $41 million. According to CHCC officials, the corporation is set to meet its projected revenue.
“If your increase in revenue is 80 percent, first thing we need to do is try to work a budget inside that increase,” said Demapan.
CHCC had proposed a budget of $90.75 million for fiscal year 2018.
In fiscal year 2017, CHCC had proposed a budget of $46 million, yet was only allocated less than $2 million.
Of the $90 million projected for next fiscal year, CHCC allocates a majority of it for personnel costs, a problem that has been plaguing the Commonwealth Health Center for years. Fifty-nine percent of the proposed $90 million, which is $53.6 million, is allocated just for personnel costs.
Some 14.3 percent of the proposed budget, or about $13 million, is allocated for hospital supplies, while 11.2 percent or about $10.2 million is allocated for capital assets such as property.
“It looks like they are making great strides financially,” said Demapan. “We have pretty much positioned CHCC in the best position they’ve been in for ages. It’s just a matter of assuring that we move them forward in this successful trend and not come back down because when our healthcare services fail, it is really detrimental to our people,” he said, adding that CHCC was appropriated $7 million last year so it could pay the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. Demapan also cited CHCC’s loan with the Marianas Public Land Trust a few years ago.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 is $150.1 million, of which only $594,933 is allocated to CHCC.