Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

U.S. offers $2 million to improve state hospitals

POHNPEI, Palikir (FSM Information Service): June 2000 - President Leo A. Falcam has quickly responded to a U.S. Department of Interior $2 million proposal in improve the four state hospitals in the FSM.

Ferdinand Aranza, director of the Office of Insular Affairs, has proposed the creation of a program to improve the overall condition of the hospital facilities in the FSM.

According to a letter dated June 5 and received at the President's Office June 19, the U.S. Office of Insular Affairs has identified residual balances from its capital improvement grants that it would like to offer the FSM, on a matching basis, to improve the four state hospitals.

The funding from Insular Affairs would be augmented with additional grant funds from Insular Affairs Operations and Maintenance Improvement Program to train hospital workers in routine maintenance of the facilities.

According to the proposal, Insular Affairs will offer the FSM $2 million, subject to an equal matching requirement. This grant will pay for the highest priority physical improvements to the four hospitals as determined by a team of experts that will include expertise from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research.

The Office of Insular Affairs will pay all costs associated with the U.S. team.

FSM healthcare officials are encouraged to participate in the team's activities, wrote Aranza.

The team will prepare two needs assessments. One assessment will concern the highest priority physical needs of the hospitals and the second assessment will concern training needs for improved hospital maintenance, wrote Aranza.

After the assessments are completed, the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research team members will put together a maintenance training program that will be carried out in two of the four states the first year.

This training program will be funded though the Insular Affair's Operations and Maintenance Improvement Program and will not have a matching requirement the first year. Expansion of the training program to the other two states will be planned for the second year following a review of the first year's program.

President Falcam responded saying that the FSM government will accept the offer of assistance. He asked Aranza to contact Secretary of Health, Education, and Social Reform, Dr. Eliuel K. Pretrick.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356