Northern Mariana Islands

Information for patients
In 2008, the Department of Public Health and Environmental Services was re-organized into a government corporation, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC). 

The CHCC functions as an integrated healthcare system that brings together a wide scope of services including primary, outpatient, and inpatient care; ancillary services including laboratory, pharmacy, and physical therapy; population health services including public and environmental health; and mental and behavioral health services. Through this integration under a single organizational structure, the CHCC provices the majority of healthcare services in North Mariana Islands.

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has one hospital, the Commonwealth Health Center, an 86-bed Medicare-certified hospital, located on the island of Saipan. The Community Guidance Center, also on Saipan, provides mental health and substance abuse services. Health centers provide health care services on the neighboring islands of Rota and Tinian. There are more than 30 physicians, 3 dentists, 4 pharmacists, and 123 nurses on the island.

There are also four private health clinic groups. 

The Medical Referral programme provides logistical and other support to people needing off-island tertiary care, for example in the Philippines or Hawaii. 

Although the US Medic Aid system operates in the island as well, it is substantially different from the one in US.

Information for healthcare professionals
The majority of the physicians are from the United States of America, and there are five times more nurses than physicians. Doctors need to obtain a license from the Healthcare Professions Licence Board. Physicians from the US and Canada undergo the same registration procedure. Foreign physicians and international medical students need to demonstrate they have completed three (3) years of postgraduate training (internship, residency, or fellowship) in an ACGME-accredited program in the U.S. or an accredited program in Canada, after earning a medical degree. 

The Northern Mariana College offers higher education in nursing only. 

The Government is supportive of increased training opportunities for local health-care staff. There are several scholarships available for medical graduates that choose to pursue a specific specialisation for which there is a shortage in the island.

Information for travellers
Travelers are advised to obtain comprehensive travel insurance with specific overseas coverage, including air ambulance medevac. In the event of a serious illness or injury that can't be treated locally, every effort should be made to arrange medical evacuation to Hawaii or Japan.

All travelers should be up-to-date on their immunizations and are advised to carry a medical kit as well as antibiotics (a quinolone is preferred) to treat travelers diarrhea or other infections.

Travelers who are taking regular medications should not expect to obtain prescription or over-the-counter drugs in local stores or pharmacies in this country, therefore they are advised to take the necessary medication with them. 

Link to Ministry of Health: