Expansion eyed for CHC


Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. yesterday shared its plans for the renovation of the CNMI’s lone hospital.

CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muna believes that the Commonwealth Health Center is long due for a renovation due to the continuous increase in population of the CNMI.

“Thirty years after it was built in 1986, the building that houses the hospital and other CHCC offices are in need of renovation and expansion,” said Muna.

Muna said original plans for CHC were focused on providing hospital services to a population of less than 20,000. According to real-time world statistics website worldometers.info, the population of the CNMI as of 2016 has reached 55,389.

“The number of patients CHCC treats has increased right along with an increasing population. When the hospital was being designed [in the 1980s], the latest census figures show the population as 16,780,” said Muna in an email that included a citation of sources.

Muna plans to extend multiple rooms that are essential to the hospital such as the emergency room, the chemotherapy room, and the trauma room, all of which are overwhelmed by the growing population.

Muna said through the population increase, CHCC needs not only to expand, but redesigned and renovated as well.

“Since the hospital was built, numerous new regulations were implemented. Best practices were difficult to implement because of how the building was designed, which was to treat a population of less than 20,000,” said Muna.

Muna also mentioned that the renovation of CHC also has its patients in mind.

“It’s all about the work environment. The renovations will be able to provide an improved patient experience,” she said.

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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