High occupancy, not unpaid balances to blame for referral patient being turned away


It has come to our attention that certain issues have arisen in light of a Medical referral patient from Rota who was denied hotel accommodations because of the assumption that the Rota municipal government has not paid balances owed for hotel accommodations and transportation of the island’s medical referral patients on Saipan.

I believe that assumptions such as this must be clarified and settled so that the public has an unblemished understanding of the situation that occurred in light of the Medical referral patient’s misunderstanding.

Let the record reflect that the Rota Health Center/Rota Inter-Island Medical Referral clearly informed the patient that neither government housing nor hotel accommodation was available due to high occupancy level which is a result from the increase of medical referrals patients from Rota to Saipan. In the past, there were instances that such situations have occurred but still patients insists that they be sent to Saipan as accommodations are being arranged for the patients to reside with family members. This recent situation is precisely that same situation in which the patient informed the Rota Health Center/Rota Inter-Island Medical Referral that he will take full responsibility of his housing accommodations as he has made contact with family members residing on Saipan.

However, it was learned that the patient is currently been provided with a hotel accommodation.

Second, contrary to the assumptions of the balances owed to hotels that provide hotel accommodations for our Rota referral patients: Rota Local Law No. 19-08 (House Local Bill No. 19-44, D1) appropriated $2 million specifically allotted to the First Senatorial District under Public Law No. 18-56. Out of the $2 million, $100,000 was allotted for the operations of the Office of the Mayor of Rota.For the record, the Mayor’s Communication 19-26 and Mayor’s Communication 19-127 reflected funding was appropriated for several vendors including the hotels that are owed and that payments have already been processed.

In light of the reported allegations, facts will prove that: 1) the patient was fully aware on the unavailability of hotel accommodations but still insisted that he be sent to Saipan as he had made prior arrangements for his accommodations with family members and 2) balances owed to service providers for medical referral patients from Rota was and is being settled by the Rota Municipal government.

The Rota Legislative Delegation, along with the Honorable Mayor of Rota, Rota Resident Director Rota Health Center, and Rota Inter-Island Medical Referral office, is cognizant of the obstacles the many medical referral patients face. We empathize with the needs of our patients that is why we as a cohesive unit strive to provide valuable accommodations and services that would ease their plight to recovery. It is only reasonable that we explain and clarify the unfortunate situation that arose.

A meeting is scheduled for March 7, 2016 at 2pm at the Rota Health Center conference room. The Rota leaders along with the Rota Health Center and the Rota inter-island Medical Referral office will be discussing issues regards to “Medical Referral” matters. All interested parties are invited and encouraged to attend the meeting.

Sen. Teresita Santos
Via email

Sen. Teresita Santos

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