Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. CEO Juan N. Babauta confirmed with Saipan Tribune the ongoing shortage of physicians, particularly at the OB-gynecology section of the public hospital.
Since Deary’s exit early this year, Dr. Jennifer Linden is the sole physician handling all emergency caesarians, excessive bleeding, gynecology surgery, and others at the hospital, he said.
Obstetrics and gynecology are two surgical-medical specialties dealing with the female reproductive organs in their pregnant and non-pregnant states.
Babauta admitted that Deary’s departure created a critical void that he intends to solve by hiring either full-time or short-term physicians at the soonest possible time.
Deary quit his post due to frustrations over many issues at the hospital, including the lack of funding support from the Legislature and the government.
Babauta assured that despite having only one physician at the OB-gyne section, Dr. Linden receives strong support and assistance from other medical practitioners, including highly qualified physician assistants, registered nurses, and midwives.
Sources have told Saipan Tribune that CHC may also end up losing its sole physician at the unit. These sources pointed out that not having OB-gyne coverage is unacceptable for a hospital like the size of CHC as it would likely result in many maternal and fetal deaths.
According to Babauta, Dr. Linden has been working at CHC around the clock. Although he is not aware of any plans by Linden to quit, he said he wants the doctor to stay.
He said that Dr. Jeremy Richards, the Medical Affairs director, is putting together a plan on how to cover any shortfall in key areas such as the OB-gyne section. “We do have plans being put together and our DMA has been on top of this shortage at OB-gyne. Certainly, we don’t want to leave that unit without coverage,” he said.
Saipan Tribune learned that the OB-gyne section also needs experienced labor and delivery nurses. Particularly lacking is the expertise in fetal monitoring interpretation and maternal assessments, which has been going on for several years now.
By Moneth Deposa