Thursday, April 3, 2008

Kidney operation stalled

The Pacific Renal Institute has put it's proposed Saipan center on hold, according to PRI spokesman Saint S. del Santos.

“The Board of Professional Licensing is giving us a hard time,” he said, “without their approval the Commonwealth Development Authority won't give us a Qualifying Certificate.”

Senator Sablan S. Sablan (TT, Northern Islands) has stepped in. “I'm filing a bill to have kidney transplants covered by another board,” he said Tuesday. “If the voters approve this should fly right through.”

“They've taken me to their facilities in the Philippines and India. This is a first class operation and they've been very good to me. They're willing to take any of my colleagues on a fact-finding trip. Tourism is down, and this will bring in rich people. They'll stay longer because they have to recover.”

Administration spokesman Charles Reyes was noncommital. “Jeez, that's a stretch, even for me,” he said in an e-mail, “but I'll have to get back to you. There have been discussions and we welcome all investors, but you've got to draw the line somewhere.”

Critics have said there will be no local benefit, a charge Santos denies. “I'm not the only one on the letterhead and we need clerks and cleaners. When Saipan gets its very own medical school we plan on tapping that resource. This is going to put the Marianas on the map."

“The donors will be pre-screened in their own countries before they are 'hired', so there will be no health issues. We'll take local donors if they have the right blood type.”

More criticism has been aimed at the QC. “This is an expensive startup, with a lot of unforeseen payments,” Santos answers. “That 25 years is just 'breathing room.' We just checked All Of The Above on the application. This will be huge for the economy. Meanwhile, we'll provide FREE school checkups for 100 indigent indigenous kids.”

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