29 Sep 2009

CNMI officials support health emegency plan

1:38 pm on 29 September 2009

The Northern Marianas Public Health Department supports a planned public health state of emergency as it would allow for an easier recruitment of doctors.

Governor Benigno Fitial announced plans over the weekend to introduce a public health state of emergency.

The territory has a serious shortage of doctors and specialists at the government hospital, and most referral patients are sent to the Philippines for treatment.

The department's acting secretary, John Tagabuel, says the territory needs to adopt new measures to address the problem.

"We have to have US or Canadian trained doctors and that's one of the hurdles that we're going through, because there's a lot of doctors in the world that are US trained but they need to be practising. So that's what we are looking at, for the medical licensing board to look at, for possibly amending the regulation."

John Tagabuel says these doctors would offer the same quality of service.