June 23, 2018
THE TRUTH ABOUT GMH
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
CHAPTER 1: THE BIG PICTURE
Q. Why is the Administration releasing FAQs.
A. It is an election season and GMH has become a political football for those seeking higher office. The Governor wants to ensure that the public has the facts on this important issue.
Q. What is the root of the current issues at GMH?
A. Funding. GMH is bucket with too many holes. Every year the hospital has sought tens of millions of dollars to maintain accreditation compliance, and every year senators have shorted them of their request. As an entity, Guam’s only public hospital loses $30M a year because it must care for every patient who walks in their door, regardless of their ability to pay. After 40 years of different Governors, senators and administrators, if one thing is certain, the challenge cannot be fixed without a dedicated funding source that plugs the massive leak. Without this, GMH is doomed to repeat a failed 40-year cycle and our people suffer the consequences.
Q. What is this 40-year failed cycle?
A. The 40-year failed cycle:
Elected leaders underfund GMH by tens of millions of dollars every year.
Management focus becomes distracted to keep the hospital running, facility repairs and upgrades are deferred, and vendor payments build up to millions of dollars.
Patient care suffers due to funding and management focus.
Senators then parade employees and management before them and plant blame on their shoulders, distracting the public from the Legislature’s leadership responsibility. (We are here again today)
A bond is eventually floated to pay past operational losses.
The cycle then resets and repeats itself.
Q. Didn’t the Legislature just pass a law that gives GMH a dedicated funding source of almost $30M.
A. Yes, but senators who are running for higher office are now leading an effort to strip the $30 million away every year moving forward. This effort to strip GMH of $30 million a year is being led by Senators Mike San Nicolas (congressional candidate), Dennis Rodriguez (gubernatorial candidate) and Frank Aguon (gubernatorial candidate). In addition to this, they are also attempting to strip DOE of $10M a year.
Q. Why would they do this?
A. Politics. The first dedicated funding source in hospital history is embedded into the recently passed sales tax that is set to take place on October 1st, right before their election. These politicians do not want this to happen, as it will decrease their chances of getting elected. It is easy and popular for politicians to roll back taxes during an election, however, the fix to GMH requires leadership. Ironically both Senator Aguon and San Nicolas, were off island during special sessions to help fund GMH, and earlier this week, GMH oversight chair Senator Rodriguez, was missing at the GMH budget hearing.
Q. Why would Senator Rodriguez, blame GMH management, be missing from their budget hearing and now strip $30M from them every year moving forward.
A. Politics. Senator Rodriguez’s actions are to distract from the fact that GMH has been in his oversight the past 8 years. As their oversight chair, he owns where they are today. His actions are consistent with the GMH 40-year failed cycle above: “Senators then parade employees and management before them to plant blame on their shoulders, distracting the public from the Legislature’s leadership responsibility.”
Q. Senator Dennis Rodriguez has publicly said he blames GMH management and has lost confidence in them. Why hasn’t the Administration changed management?
A. The same group of management and employees that Senator Rodriguez is blaming and has called corrupt, is the primarily the same group of management employees that were celebrated when GMH Administrator Peter John Camacho regained accreditation after it had lost it for almost 30 years. While accreditation is more costly to maintain, once achieved, and without proper funding, GMH management does not have the ability to focus on patient care because its too busy trying to keep operations afloat. This is why the legislature must choose leadership over politics and fully fund GMH with a dedicated funding source.
Q. What can I do to help GMH?
A. Call your senators and tell them to stop blaming and start supporting GMH. Tell them enough is enough, if they strip GMH of $30M a year, they will lose your vote and you will blame them for GMH’s failure.
June 23, 2018