Muña: Bill does not protect patients


The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s chief executive officer is adamant that House Bill 19-186 will be detrimental to the hospital’s patients.

The bill, which is awaiting Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ signature, would change the CHCC advisory board into a governing one.

Responding to a letter from former House floor leader Ana Teregeyo sent Monday, CHCC CEO Esther Muña said the biggest problem with the new bill is that the governing board would be made up of politically appointed members.

“The process of credentialing and privileging for medical staff requires that the governing body review recommendations from the credentialing committee, made up of physician peers. A governing body has to have independence from politics,” said Muña.

Muña said the ability to determine who is eligible for credentialing and privileging is not up to the CEO, but rather to the credentialing committee.

“The committee and the governing body are responsible for making sure the physician is qualified, eligible, skilled, and of good character. By regulation, this must be met and CHCC cannot grant privileges based on board certification alone. HB 19-186 clearly does not have that protection from harm and right to safety for our patients,” said Muña.

HB 19-186 proposes to revert the advisory board of the corporation back into a governing body to look over the functions and activities of the corporation, effectively repealing Public Law 16-51, which originally changed the role of the CHCC board into an advisory role.

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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