“It’s obvious that while some doctors may have special interests, others have an open mind and are willing to earnestly listen to our proposal,” said Governor Leon Guerrero. “We were able to have an open and honest discussion, answer questions, and provide additional information to help them make their own informed decisions. At the end of the night, it was clear: so many of our doctors agree–wherever a hospital is built, it must be patient-centered.”
Driven by data, Dr. Annette David said she’s plotted the healthcare facilities on the island. “What we found, which should come as no surprise to most of you, is that most of the healthcare services are located in Tamuning, Tumon, and Dededo, which left a very large desert on the map which was the southern and central regions. They had very sparse resources, very little in terms of what was available to their communities for healthcare. When it comes to future planning for health resilience, we need to cover those gaps. The priority will have to be to close those gaps.”
Even with his practice in Tamuning at The Doctor’s Clinic, Dr. John Ray Taitano offered his support for the Governor’s proposal. “Those that are practicing in the Tamuning area, we will still have a practice. We really will. Our patients will still come and visit us here if we still want to practice here.”
Dr. Nathaniel Berg was “extraordinarily encouraged” by the engagement from his peers and said, “If we just listen, we can make an informed decision. And that’s what we want–to make an informed decision. In every procedure that I do, I tell a patient their risks, benefits, and alternatives. And then you leave it to–in this case, the people of Guam or their elected official… Whatever decision is made, I want to be a part of the team that helps the Governor make that decision a reality–whether that’s a new medical campus in Mangilao/Barrigada or here.”
Monday’s meeting opened with a presentation by the Governor’s Director of Communications Krystal Paco-San Agustin. Paco-San Agustin provided an overview of the proposed location and debunked false claims made by opponents of Bill 184. Bill 184, introduced by Governor Leon Guerrero, allows GovGuam to buy or lease the Eda Agaga property to build a hospital and medical complex. Bill 184 and its competing legislation, Bill 185, have yet to be reported out by the Committee on Health.
“Without Bill 184, there is no progress. There will be no detailed cost estimate for a hospital or medical campus. There will be no commitments for additional federal funding. There will be no opportunities to attract more specialists to Guam. There will be no timeline for a veterans’ clinic. And there will be no advancement of healthcare services locally. Without Bill 184, we remain at status quo,” Paco-San Agustin advised attendees.
Dr. William Weare added, “And as far as Bill 185, I think we’re fortunate that the Governor still has veto powers, and I urge her to use it because Tamuning–I don’t think is a reasonable alternative for many reasons.”
To watch the meeting in its entirety, visit the Governor’s YouTube Page.
To learn more about the Guam Medical Complex, visit governor.guam.gov/medical-