(Tuesday, September 03, 2019; Dededo, Guam) Since its first year of operation, Guam Regional Medical City (GRMC) has been the primary referral hospital for Saipan and the CNMI. This means patients in need of emergency services and medical procedures not readily available in the CNMI can take advantage of GRMC’s proximity rather than traveling greater distances unnecessarily.

“We are grateful to GRMC for having a pivotal role in the medical referral system from the CNMI,” said Esther Muna, CEO of Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation, the CNMI’s only hospital. “Its services and that of its affiliated specialists have proven invaluable.”

GRMC has welcomed many patients over the last four years, but the number has been steadily increasing to an average of one to two direct inpatient-to-inpatient transfers patient per week. The weekend of July 26 – 29 alone, three patients were transported from Saipan, one via the U.S. Coast Guard.

“The relationship and partnership between the CNMI Medical Referral Services (MRS) and GRMC has been very important and critical for our patients care. GRMC has been very accommodating to our needs especially on very critical medical emergencies requiring immediate response and coordination. This close relationship extends beyond medical to both administrative and financial services,” said Ronald Sablan, Director of the CNMI Medical Referral Services.

Saipan native and GRMC Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Felix Tudela Cabrera states, “providing high quality acute and sub-acute specialty services that reduce the radius a patient and family must travel is our main vision. Doing this currently for the entire Mariana Islands gives the ‘R’ in GRMC credence.”

“Aside from the inconvenience, traveling stateside or towards Asia for acute care may be too risky due to issues such as travel time, availability or even altitude. If it is a service that GRMC can provide well and with value, this ultimately makes us the wisest choice,” adds Dr. Cabrera.

“GRMC is the regional hospital for all our people in the CNMI and Micronesia area. Patients can get the care they need here at home, close to their support system of family and friends,” said Senior Vice President Strategic Planning & Business Development Francis E. Santos.