Torres concurs with CHCC, KCHC approach

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres concurs with the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the Kagman Community Health Center’s approach in settling the dispute that ultimately resulted in KCHC operating out of a parish social hall.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, along with Lt. Gov. Victor B. Hocog, met with the Department of Public Lands acting secretary Richard Villagomez and Attorney General Edward Manibusan last Friday to discuss solutions for the CHCC-KCHC dispute.

The ultimate goal of the meeting was to maintain the continuity of KCHC services. They are currently operating out of the Santa Soledad Parish social hall in Kagman after CHCC CEO Esther Muña ordered to change the locks and the alarm code of their facility on Lemmai Road, Kagman II last week.

“The meeting ended with a resolution that the best course of action would be to [designate] the lot where KCHC was operating out of from CHCC to the Office of the Governor. This, in turn, will allow DPL to designate the premises for use by the Office of the Governor to allow KCHC to continue providing services to the people of Kagman,” an administration statement said.

The KCHC facility is currently sitting on CHCC land. Being a now private entity—after being awarded the competitive Federally Qualified Health Center grant through Health Resources and Services Administration—KCHC is no longer functioning in partnership with CHCC.

In order to expedite the process, CHCC is required to waive a 90-day requirement to allow DPL to “immediately transfer the property” to KCHC.

“At the end of the day, these actions stem from the overarching goal, which is to ensure that healthcare services continue to be provided at a clinic that has demonstrated its capacity to provide quality care. Improving the islands’ healthcare system overall is a primary objective of this administration,” said the statement.

During a Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation Health and Welfare Committee meeting last Friday morning, CHCC expressed its desire to allow KCHC to operate in their facility in Kagman II. What CHCC was reportedly trying to avoid, according to board chair Lauri Ogumoro, were any possible liability issues with allowing KCHC to operate on public land.

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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