Adequate funding isn’t the only item that the Guam Memorial Hospital is waiting for from Senators.
The Guam Memorial Hospital and its board have yet to hear when the Legislature will hold hearings for two Board of Trustees nominees. Currently, GMH has five board members and if any of them are unable to attend a meeting then the meeting is canceled due to a lack of quorum. A recent Joint Commission visit raised the concern that the board of trustees hadn’t met since July – a point that senators were critical of.
The nominations were sent to Speaker BJ Cruz’s office last year in September and November, respectively. Because he has oversight on the hospital, these nominations were referred to Sen. Dennis Rodriguez’s committee on health where they appear stalled.
“Look at the dates the nominees’ packets were submitted, if senators had acted on them when they were submitted, we would have had a board of 7 trustees and it wouldn’t have been an issue raised by the Joint Commission,” said GMH Administrator PeterJohn Camacho. “Instead they continue to stall the nomination process, further putting GMH at risk. And then they call the hardworking people at GMH ‘liars’ and ‘drug addicts’.”
GMH has repeatedly told senators of the challenges they face and how those challenges are related to funding. Camacho today shared a message from the Joint Commission chief operating officer that supports a statement he shared with Senators in yesterday’s round table.
“As I reviewed your findings, many will need capital monies. If you have not had access to cash this does cause organizations to fall short of meeting our standards. There have been many cases where funding has been an issue for our customers and they too are often in the difficult position of not meeting CMS and Joint Commission standards,” COO Mark Pelletier wrote.
Additional nominations for board members isn’t the only thing the people at the hospital are waiting for from the Legislature. They continue to hope that after 40 years, Senators would finally fully fund the island’s only public hospital. GMH needs a dedicated funding source. Senators have failed to fund GMH by an incredible $30M a year, every year. This has been going on for 4 decades. It’s a perennial issue. Annually, the hospital has been asking Senators for help but only have received a fraction of the funds needed to provide life-saving services to Guamanians. A solution is before them.