Micronesian Senator Says Doctors Should Get Malpractice Insurance

By Raymond A. Martinez

SENATOR Henry H. San Nicolas introduced yesterday a bill, S.B. 16-18, to require medical doctors to get malpractice insurance.

San Nicolas, Covenant-Tinian, said when patients suffer medical-related injuries, the government ends up shouldering the liability.

The bill states that liability against the government is capped at $100,000 for personal injuries.

The government pays $50,000 to patients who die, the bill states.

Aside from government relief from liabilities, the bill aims to provide protection for patients who deserve adequate and competent medical care.

The legislation allows for a “professional liability insurance approved by the Commonwealth Medical License Board of not less than $500,000 per claim, subject to not less than $1 million annual aggregate for all claims made during the policy period [that] shall be maintained by each resident healthcare professional� at the Commonwealth Health Center.

“I know there are going to be tough challenges and some oppositions to the bill that I introduced,� San Nicolas said.

He said the bill should encourage good doctors to practice in the CNMI and should improve the quality of the medical profession here.

The bill allows the government to save money and at the same time take care of its people, San Nicolas said.
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