2 May 2012

Doctors working overtime to maintain critical services at CNMI hospital

2:46 pm on 2 May 2012

Doctors at the only hospital in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas are working overtime to maintain critical services.

30 nurses and four doctors at the Commonwealth Health Centre have officially tendered their resignations in the past few weeks, following the resignations earlier this year of another 17 nurses.

The chief executive of the Healthcare Corporation, Juan Babauta, says replacement nurses won't be hired and the company hasn't decided whether to recruit replacement doctors.

The director of medical affairs, Dr Jeremy Richards, says no general surgery is being carried out.

"Things are tight, some departments are short-staffed but we're able to maintain the most critical services right now and a lot of routine services and we're trying to go back to providing routine care in all areas but if things don't work out it's possible that things could get tight pretty quick and we might lose some staff but as right now things are relatively stable."

Dr Jeremy Richards says the situation isn't putting lives at risk but is making it difficult to keep people healthy.