COMMONWEALTH Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Esther Muna said she and CHCC Chief Financial Officer Perlita Santos would reconcile their records to address Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig’s concerns about CHCC’s funding requests. .
In a September 7 letter, Atalig told Muna that the amount she mentioned in her August 1 memorandum was not what the legislature appropriated.
For fiscal year 2018, for example, Muna’s memo indicated that CHCC received $2.2 million, but based on Finance’s review of the budget bill, the company only received $2.2 million. than $708,311.
For fiscal year 2019, the memo said CHCC received $10.2 million, but Public Law 20-67 says the amount was only $4.2 million.
For fiscal year 2020, the memo said CHCC was allocated $2.9 million when it was actually only $1 million, the finance secretary said.
He said that in those years, the actual appropriations for CHCC were $36.4 million, not $55.8 million as Muna’s memo stated.
Atalig said that of the $36 million, Finance transferred $26.6 million to CHCC, leaving a remaining balance of approximately $9.8 million.
The CHCC is an autonomous public company which still receives subsidies from the central government.
Atalig noted that the Torres administration and Finance have shown “unequivocal support” for the CHCC in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The administration implemented strict public health guidelines based on CHCC recommendations during the early stages of the public health emergency, Atalig said.
“The Torres Administration has provided significant additional support to CHCC, including support for its technical, labor and facilities needs. CNMI is currently helping CHCC transition to an updated financial system that would help streamlining existing processes within the company. To support CHCC in its efforts, the Ministry of Finance also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on March 22, 2022 with additional funding due to the financial impacts of the pandemic,” Atalig added. .
He said the Torres administration’s commitments to the CHCC include the following:
1) Financial Management Information System Upgrade — $555,230.68
2) Memorandum of Understanding — $3,300,037.50
3) CHCC Alternative Care Sites – $16,805,893.56
4) CHCC Medical Care and Treatment Site – $811,116.79
5) Additional CHCC parking — $275,396
6) Contracts for traveling nurses — $1,600,577.69
Atalig also informed Muna that magnetic resonance imaging or MRI and hyperbaric chambers for CHCC are a high priority for the Torres administration.
He said funding for the project was included by the governor in his American Rescue Plan Act spending plan. He added that the project falls under the Infrastructure and Recovery Program and $10 million in funding is available for the stated purpose.
In an interview on Monday, Muna said, “Without a doubt, the entire CNMI appreciates the support to mitigate and prevent the spread of infectious diseases and health in general.
She said she and CHCC’s chief financial officer “look forward to reconciling our records once and for all and addressing all elements of our August 1 letter for clarity.”
During a recent press briefing on KKMP radio station, Atalig said:
“Keep in mind that when we allocated medical referral funds from ARPA, it wasn’t just about giving 100% directly to CHCC; he was also paid for past medical referral bills.
He said some lawmakers have politicized the issue, adding that no one is talking about the good things the administration has done to help CHCC, including spending nearly $30 million to help mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic in CNMI, constructing a new parking lot for the hospital, upgrading the CHCC financial system at no cost to CHCC, and paying CHCC’s utility bills.
“Who pays the CHCCs [Commonwealth Utilities Corporation] Billings ? It’s central government… No one wants to discuss how much we paid CHCC for their CUC bills,” Atalig said.
“We don’t need to politicize this. I work closely with CHCC to ensure that we work together in all aspects…And what we have promised to allocate, that cannot change. We are working on it. We will continue to work on it. »
With K-Andrea Evarose S.Limol