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A new law, RPPL 11-16, signed into law on Wednesday, January 26, created a Belau National Hospital Authority to manage and operate the Belau National Hospital, like other semi-independent agencies such PPUC and PNCC.

The law separates the Belau National Hospital from the Ministry of Health and Human Services.  It is to be managed and operated by a Board of Directors consisting of 5 appointed and confirmed members.

The law states, “The Belau National Hospital Authority shall act as that body, guided by the purpose of reducing inefficiencies in hospital management and improving the overall state of health care within Palau.”

Furthermore, it states, the benchmark of success for this improvement is the “achievement of high-quality secondary and early tertiary level care within the Republic.”

In addition, the new Authority will take over the management and operation of the Belau National Hospital from the Ministry of Health and Human Services, “allowing the Ministry to focus on its role in developing primary health care and public health programming to improve the overall quality of life of our citizenry.”

The law sets five preconditions that need to be met before the official transition of Belau National Hospital operations to Belau National Hospital Authority can occur.

The five preconditions include 1) transition plan, 2) legislative amendments, 3) enacted budget, 4) feasibility study for outside grant funding continuity and 5) Report from the Minister of Finance on the outcome of the Compact negotiations and its health-related funding and technical assistance.

After all five preconditions are met and a certificate of completion is issued, the Belau National Hospital Authority has one year from that date to complete the transition.

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