A-10038, SEPTEMBER 19, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 206

A-10038: Sep 19, 1925

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CONTINUES TO BE A MEDICAL OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES AND IS NOT ENTITLED. IT APPEARS THAT DOCTOR ERNST WHILE HOLDING A COMMISSION AS ASSISTANT SURGEON IN THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE WAS ORDERED ON NOVEMBER 14. THAT THIS DETAIL TO DUTY IN THE PHILIPPINES WAS MADE PURSUANT TO AN EXECUTIVE ORDER ISSUED JANUARY 3. IS VESTED IN AND WILL BE CONDUCTED BY THE MARINE HOSPITAL SERVICE. MEDICAL OFFICERS OF THAT SERVICE WILL BE DETAILED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY AS QUARANTINE OFFICERS AT THE PORTS OF MANILA AND ILOILO IMMEDIATELY AND AT OTHER PORTS IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE OR NECESSARY. THE EXPENSES OF THE QUARANTINE SERVICE WILL BE CHARGED AGAINST THE REVENUES OF THE ISLANDS.

A-10038, SEPTEMBER 19, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 206

COMPENSATION, DOUBLE - OFFICER OF PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE FURNISHING MEDICAL TREATMENT AN OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE DETAILED TO DUTY IN THE PHILIPPINES AS A QUARANTINE OFFICER PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER OF JANUARY 3, 1900, AND WHO RECEIVES PAY AND ALLOWANCES AS AN OFFICER OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE FROM PHILIPPINE FUNDS, CONTINUES TO BE A MEDICAL OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES AND IS NOT ENTITLED, WHILE SO SERVING, TO ANY ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR TREATING A BENEFICIARY OF THE UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO A. H. GARDES, CHIEF OF ACCOUNTS, UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION, SEPTEMBER 19, 1925:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR REQUEST OF JUNE 10, 1925, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER COVERING THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT OF DR. EDWARD C. ERNST, SURGEON, UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, FOR THE PERIOD FROM APRIL 2, 1925, TO MAY 14, 1925, AS MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION. YOU REQUEST ADVICE AS TO WHAT ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN UPON SAID VOUCHER IN VIEW OF THE FACTS HEREINAFTER SET OUT.

IT APPEARS THAT DOCTOR ERNST WHILE HOLDING A COMMISSION AS ASSISTANT SURGEON IN THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE WAS ORDERED ON NOVEMBER 14, 1917, TO PROCEED FROM THE QUARANTINE STATION, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., TO "MANILA, P.I., AND REPORT TO CHIEF QUARANTINE OFFICER J. D. LONG FOR DUTY.' THE SURGEON GENERAL OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ADVISED THIS OFFICE IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 25, 1925, THAT THIS DETAIL TO DUTY IN THE PHILIPPINES WAS MADE PURSUANT TO AN EXECUTIVE ORDER ISSUED JANUARY 3, 1900, BY PRESIDENT MCKINLEY, WHICH THE SURGEON GENERAL QUOTES AS FOLLOWS:

THE EXAMINATION IN PORTS OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS OF INCOMING AND OUTGOING VESSELS AND THE NECESSARY SURVEILLANCE OVER THEIR SANITARY CONDITION, AS WELL AS OF CARGO, PASSENGERS, CREW, AND OF ALL PERSONAL EFFECTS, IS VESTED IN AND WILL BE CONDUCTED BY THE MARINE HOSPITAL SERVICE, AND MEDICAL OFFICERS OF THAT SERVICE WILL BE DETAILED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY AS QUARANTINE OFFICERS AT THE PORTS OF MANILA AND ILOILO IMMEDIATELY AND AT OTHER PORTS IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE OR NECESSARY.

THE MEDICAL OFFICER DETAILED UNDER THIS ORDER AS QUARANTINE OFFICER AT THE PORT OF MANILA SHALL BE THE CHIEF QUARANTINE OFFICER FOR THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.

THE EXPENSES OF THE QUARANTINE SERVICE WILL BE CHARGED AGAINST THE REVENUES OF THE ISLANDS, AND A SUM NOT TO EXCEED $300,000 IN EACH FISCAL YEAR IS HEREBY SET ASIDE FROM THE REVENUES COLLECTED IN SAID ISLANDS FOR THIS PURPOSE.

WHILE DETAILED TO DUTY IN THE PHILIPPINES AS AN ASSISTANT SURGEON OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE EXECUTIVE ORDER, DOCTOR ERNST, DURING THE PERIOD FROM DECEMBER 30, 1918, TO JUNE 26, 1919, TREATED AN INJURED EMPLOYEE OF THE STEAMSHIP QUANTICO, A VESSEL IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES SHIPPING BOARD, AND WAS REIMBURSED FOR THE MEDICAL SERVICES RENDERED, IN THE SUM OF $620, BY AN AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES SHIPPING BOARD EMERGENCY FLEET CORPORATION. THE EMERGENCY FLEET CORPORATION IN TURN PRESENTED A CLAIM TO THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE AMOUNT EXPENDED ON ACCOUNT OF THE SERVICES OF DOCTOR ERNST, AND UPON THE APPROVAL OF THE CLAIM BY THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION THE AUDITOR FOR THE STATE AND OTHER DEPARTMENTS, BY SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 16, 1921, ALLOWED A CLAIM OF THE UNITED STATES SHIPPING BOARD EMERGENCY FLEET CORPORATION IN THE SUM OF $1,323.35, WHICH INCLUDED THE ITEM OF $620 FOR THE SERVICES RENDERED BY DOCTOR ERNST. AT THE TIME SAID SETTLEMENT WAS MADE THERE WAS NOTHING IN THE FILE TO INDICATE THE CONNECTION OF DOCTOR ERNST WITH THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, AND THE QUESTION AS TO THE EFFECT OF SUCH CONNECTION UPON HIS RIGHT TO RECEIVE PAY FOR SERVICES RENDERED A BENEFICIARY OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION WAS NOT RAISED. IT SUBSEQUENTLY COMING TO YOUR ATTENTION THAT DOCTOR ERNST RETAINED HIS COMMISSION IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED, YOU SUBMIT THE MATTER FOR CONSIDERATION AS TO WHETHER HE, AS A MEDICAL OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES, WAS PROHIBITED BY SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1916, 39 STAT. 743, FROM RECEIVING PAY FOR HIS SERVICES IN TREATING A BENEFICIARY OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION.

SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1916, PROVIDES:

THAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER AN INJURY SUSTAINED BY AN EMPLOYEE WHILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTY, WHETHER OR NOT DISABILITY HAS ARISEN, AND FOR A REASONABLE TIME THEREAFTER, THE UNITED STATES SHALL FURNISH TO SUCH EMPLOYEE REASONABLE MEDICAL, SURGICAL, AND HOSPITAL SERVICES AND SUPPLIES UNLESS HE REFUSES TO ACCEPT THEM. SUCH SERVICES AND SUPPLIES SHALL BE FURNISHED BY UNITED STATES MEDICAL OFFICERS AND HOSPITALS, BUT WHERE THIS IS NOT PRACTICABLE SHALL BE FURNISHED BY PRIVATE PHYSICIANS AND HOSPITALS DESIGNATED OR APPROVED BY THE COMMISSION AND PAID FOR FROM THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION FUND * * *.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT DOCTOR ERNST, DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION, CONTINUED TO HOLD HIS COMMISSION AS AN OFFICER OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE AND WAS REGULARLY DETAILED AS SUCH OFFICER TO THE DUTY IN THE PHILIPPINES, IT IS EVIDENT THAT HE WAS A MEDICAL OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ABOVE PROVISION OF LAW, AND WAS THEREFORE PRECLUDED FROM RECEIVING ANY ADDITIONAL PAY FROM THE UNITED STATES FOR SERVICES RENDERED IN TREATING A BENEFICIARY OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION. THE DETAIL WAS DULY AUTHORIZED, AND THE MERE FACT THAT PAYMENT FOR HIS SERVICES AS AN OFFICER WAS MADE FROM PHILIPPINE FUNDS DID NOT OPERATE TO CHANGE HIS STATUS FROM THAT OF A MEDICAL OFFICER IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES. ACCORDINGLY, IN VIEW OF THE FACTS AS THEY NOW APPEAR, A CHARGE WILL BE RAISED AGAINST THE OFFICER IN THE SUM OF $620, THE AMOUNT OF THE UNAUTHORIZED PAYMENT.

THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR SUBMISSION WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT, AND NO FURTHER PAYMENTS SHOULD BE MADE BY YOU TO DOCTOR ERNST UNTIL THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE OVERPAYMENT SHALL HAVE BEEN RECOVERED, PENDING WHICH ANY VOUCHERS PRESENTED TO YOU BY HIM SHOULD BE TRANSMITTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT.