Guam Memorial Hospital healthcare professionals and volunteers are calling on Senators as they meet today to schedule a public hearing for lifesaving Bills 141 & 142.
“Senators, as you meet today in the Committee on Rules to plan for the upcoming session, I am respectfully requesting the scheduling of a public hearing on Bills 141 and 142,” said PeterJohn Camacho, GMH administrator. “We must work together to ensure that our people will receive the same standard of care they would receive at any other hospital in the US or Asia.”
We are going on five months now without a public hearing for bills that were submitted July 10 to the Legislature. Speaker BJ Cruz says he will not support the Guam Memorial Hospital bills that will update hospital facilities and equipment, and will not hold a public hearing that will allow the community to come together to discuss this community issue. Why doesn’t the Speaker want to hear the public?
The legislative Rules Committee Chairwoman Regine Biscoe Lee said she cannot schedule a public hearing. But as a member of Speaker Cruz’s committee on appropriations, why is she not lobbying to hold a public hearing? Are they afraid of hearing from the public?
Dr. Vincent Duenas said there must be a senator who is willing to help GMH and the people of Guam.
“The healthcare of our people is a matter of civic and moral responsibility of our elected leaders and should not be a political game,” said Dr. Vincent Duenas.
Guam Memorial Hospital Volunteers Association members agree with Dr. Duenas that senators need to work together with other leaders to improve the situation at GMH:
Rosa Quitano, GMHVA member: “I’m a war survivor and I’ve been going to the old hospital (and) the new hospital. My family comes to (GMH) and I really feel that if we rebuild our hospital and bring in more doctors and nurses, our patients will be more satisfied and Guam will be in a better situation.”
Rosita Duenas Dias, GMHVA member: “I work at the hospital as a volunteer. I use most of my time in finding ways to help the hospital… I ask the senators of the Guam Legislature, the Governor, and everybody in public to support the hospital because it is one of our most valuable assets on Guam.”
Myrna Aquina, GMHVA President: “I ask the senators to lobby behind the modernization plan for GMH. GMH really needs all the help to make this plan work.”
Doctors who work at GMH with the existing equipment and facilities also are urging senators to take action.
Dr. Vinny Duenas, an internal medicine physician at GMH since 2013, said as a local boy, his dream was always to help the people of Guam.
“As a physician on our tiny island, some of the experiences I’ve had so far have been heart breaking. Knowing that that there are treatments out there that could really help save lives, but not having access to it because of where we live is unacceptable,” Dr. Vinny Duenas stated. “Although we have been able to stay afloat for all these years, we deserve a lot more than just getting by. The GMH modernization is a critical step forward in improving the standard of care for medicine on Guam. The services we provide at our only public hospital could truly make the difference between life and death. I fully support and applaud this amazing effort, please help us bring critical health care services to our island population.”
Dr. Larry Lizama said in spite of the talents and the dedication of the hospital team, they can only do so much with the current equipment and facilities.
“We continue to see premature deaths among the patients we care for due to the inadequacies of our hospital. How long can we as a community continue to tolerate this?” he asked.
Senators should listen to these medical doctors and the volunteers who dedicate their time and effort to help our people.
We ask all the people of Guam to call your senators and ask them to hold a public hearing.
Speaker BJ Cruz: 477-2520
Senator Regine Lee, Rules Committee Chairwoman: 472-3455/3456
Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje: 472-3586
Sen. Thomas Ada: 473-3301/02
Sen. Joe S. San Agustin: 989-5445
Sen. Telena Cruz Nelson: 989-4678
Sen. Michael San Nicolas: 472-6453
Sen. Dennis Rodriguez Jr.: 649-8638/0511
Sen. Frank Aguon: 475-4861/2
Sen. James Espaldon: 475-4546
Sen. Tommy Morrison: 478-8669
Sen. Mary Torres: 475-6279
Sen. Louise Muna: 969-9852
Sen. Wil Castro: 969-1225/6
Sen. Fernando Esteves: 969-3376

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