Department of Health and Social Services

Director of Health and Social Services: Mr. Wincener David

Chief of Medical Services: Dr. Nora Liwy

Chief of Public Health: Norleen Oliver-Deorio

Chief of Dental Services: Dr. Marcelle Gallen

Chief of Administrative Services: Mrs. Merihter Elias Etse

Chief of Social Services: Mr. Noriekka Lekka

The Department of Health and Social Services maintains a website:

Annual report submitted for Governor Oliver’s state of the State Message:

DOHSS – Annual Report 2021

Department of Health Services
The Department of Health shall be responsible for providing health care and health education in Pohnpei. The Department shall coordinate the planning, organization, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all public health-related functions and assure that health care is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Department shall have the following divisions, each administered by a division chief:

Duties of Director
The Director of the Department of Health Services, either personally or by his duly authorized representatives, shall maintain and improve health and sanitary conditions, minimize and control communicable disease, establish standards of medical and dental care and practice, encourage scientific investigation in the field of health, supervise and administer all government-owned hospitals, sanitaria, clinics, dispensaries, and such other medical and dental facilities as are or may be established throughout the state of Pohnpei.

The Division of Medical Services
Employ or otherwise contract for an adequate staff of doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and other medical staff; Establish and maintain general medical and surgical services, diagnose specialists for outpatient and inpatient curative services, and provision 24-hour coverage to both inpatients and emergency patients; Formulate a continuing education program for its staff and coordinate with the Division of Administration and Health Development in executing such program; Establish and maintain hospital services and facilities such as inpatient wards, x-ray services, pharmacy services, anesthesia, operating and recovery services, laboratory and morgue, labor and delivery services, central supply services, emergency services, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and outpatient services.

The Division of Dental Services
Employ or otherwise contract for an adequate staff of dental professionals and hygienists; Establish and maintain preventative oral health care programs and services including educational programs for schools and the general public. Formulate a continuing education program for its staff and coordinate with the Division of Administration and Health Development in executing such programs; Establish and maintain dental treatment services, dental laboratory services, and other special clinic and dispensary services, as necessary for the dental health of the inhabitants of Pohnpei.

The Division of SOCIAL AFFAIRS
The Office of Social Affairs shall promote the unique and special interests of the youth, women, and senior citizens of Pohnpei. Giving special priority to youth interests, the Office shall establish and promote sports and other recreational and competitive activities and establish youth counseling programs. The Office shall act as an advocate of youth, women, and senior citizens’ interests and rights in the development of cross-sectoral plans and programs, so that the needs and interests of these groups are recognized and addressed.

The Division of Primary Health Care
Promote and coordinate preventive and community health care and activities; provide health-related education to individuals and the community; establish and implement programs on proper hygienic practices; Formulate a continuing education program for its staff and coordinate with the Division of Administration and Health Care Development in executing such program; Establish programs for the early detection, prevention and treatment of communicable diseases; and Establish and maintain clinics for primary health care, maternal-child health care, family planning, prenatal and postnatal care, school health care and health education, dispensary and emergency services, well-baby clinics, immunization, nutrition, drug, and alcohol control service, hypertension service, diabetic services, mental health, and other specialty clinics.

The Division of Administration and Health Planning
Coordinate with the Division of Primary Health Care on the latter’s United States federally-funded programs; Direct and coordinate all administrative functions of the Department of Health Services, and provide essential administrative support to the Divisions of the Department; Serve as Technical Advisor and Liaison on matters involving personnel management for the Department of Health Services; Establish and maintain fiscal and development planning for all health service activities, including seeking other possible sources of funding from inside as well as outside of the Federated States of Micronesia to support the work of the Department; Establish and maintain proper budget, financial, inventory and property controls, including coordination of, and assistance with all purchases for the Department and its health care services; Manage the support service at the hospital, including food services, housekeeping, maintenance, and security; Develop plans and obtain assistance from the FSM National Government, FSM and State health insurance companies, and international aid sources, to develop Pohnpei State Hospital as a viable regional medical referral facility; Establish and collect fees and charges for medical services; assist the Governor in the investigation and negotiation of current or proposed health-insurance programs for medical services provided to insured patients, to determine most feasible manner to provide health insurance coverage to the maximum number of Pohnpei residents; and Coordinate and manage any off-island medical referrals and supervise the activities of the Medical Coordinator in charge of the Honolulu Referral House.

Medical Referral Committee

The Pohnpei Department of Health Services shall establish a medical referral committee that shall be composed of, at a minimum, three physicians or medical officers who regularly practice in Pohnpei. The Department may appoint to its medical referral committee additional members with such qualifications as it deems appropriate.

Except as provided in Subsection (5) of this section, referrals must be authorized by the Pohnpei medical referral committee. The Pohnpei medical referral committee shall consider, as soon as possible, a written request made by an enrollee’s attending physician or medical officer and shall determine whether referral of the enrollee to an out-of-state health care facility is necessary or appropriate for the diagnosis or treatment of, or rehabilitation following injury or illness or for health maintenance. The medical referral committee shall determine in writing:

  • Whether it recommends a referral;
  • Where covered services are to be provided;
  • What covered services are necessary or appropriate for the enrollee to receive at such facility; and
  • The projected length of stay

All recommendations by a medical referral committee or other authorizations for referral as provided under this section which will result in financial obligations against the Plan must be approved by the Executive Director in accordance with §4-127 before any financial obligation may be incurred against the Plan for any out-of-state expenses.

The Board shall, in consultation with the Director of the Pohnpei Department of Health Services, by regulation, establish standards and procedures for payment of referrals costs, and lists of eligible services and permissible charges that may be imposed against the Plan. Such standards and procedures and lists shall assure that all referrals services and costs charged to the Plan are consistent with the purposes and the objectives of the Plan.

The Director of the Department of Health Services shall, by regulation, provide for alternate means for the authorization of medical referrals in the event of serious and immediate medical emergencies involving situations in which the medical referral committee is unable to meet for the purposes prescribed in Subsection (2) of this section.