June 18, 2018
Hagåtña — Instead of helping the island’s only public hospital with a dedicated funding source of about $30 million a year, some senators were open to paying a more costly federal receiver to “fix” the hospital.
The question of a federal receiver was raised and Sen. Frank Aguon asked how we could make this happen.
Federal receivers are costly. For example, the taxpayers of Guam had to take a $160,000,000 bond for the closure of Ordot dump. This doesn’t include the millions collected in monthly fees from residential and commercial customers to pay for services.
For decades we have known that the Guam Memorial Hospital faces a $30 million shortfall every year primarily because not all of the 46,000 patients who walk in to the hospital for life-saving services is able to pay for said services.
Consider this:
• The $160M trash bond will cost the average ratepayer: $9,000
• That’s about 400% more than the average cost/patient to run GMH: $2,230
A breakdown of that cost per patient per $100?
– $51.60 pays and supports nurses and doctors
– $26 pays for the medicine, labs, X-rays and other ancillary services
– $12.50 is spent to keep the hospital clean and feed its patients
– $8.40 to collect and pay the bills
– $3.50 to manage operations
We know what is needed to help ensure GMH gets the right tools they need to save lives. It’s been 40 years. Why can’t we give that solution a try?
GMH has struggled with funding throughout Senator Aguon’s time in elected office the past two decades.

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