Hagåtña, Guam – Resolution 215-37 introduced by the Republican minority is nothing more than political grandstanding that ultimately calls for the Government of Guam to give up some of its ability to self-govern. At a time when GovGuam is pushing for more self-governance and self-determination, the Republican party has decided to take a step backwards and instead ask for more federal intervention by threatening to place GMH under federal receivership.
The Republican resolution requests that the Governor of Guam declare a state of “extreme emergency” at the Guam Memorial Hospital. This request is a prime example of their political grandstanding, as they fully understand that an emergency declaration accomplishes nothing. An emergency declaration from the Governor would not result in more cash for the hospital–nor is it required for faster procurement. While the Republican resolution includes quotes from the testimony of a certified critical care nurse during a GMH oversight hearing, this nurse also called for the construction of a new hospital.
Nurse Isabel Flores told lawmakers, “If you’re not sitting in those seats to actively advance the lives of the people here to make Guam a better place, then you shouldn’t be in those chairs. Eagles Field was shut down. Okay what’s next? We haven’t heard any word on that. We need a new public hospital. As senators it is literally your obligation to figure out a plan for a new hospital.”
The same Republicans calling for an emergency declaration and federal receivership at the hospital are the same Republicans who blocked the no-cost lease of the Eagles Field that would’ve allowed the construction of a new hospital. Many of these same Republicans have been in politics for an extremely long time.
Flores told lawmakers, “And for those of you that have been in office for five-ten years or more who have failed to prioritize progress and improvement in our healthcare system, your complacency has really cost many lives, and that blood is on your hands.”
The nurse reiterated the importance of a new hospital stating, “I’m here to tell you what we need, and that is first and foremost a new hospital building–if not for anyone but for our children.”
Flores, who gave passionate testimony about the conditions of the hospital, was also visibly disappointed in local lawmakers’ inability to come up with another plan for a new hospital after blocking Governor Leon Guerrero’s plan to build one at the Eagles Field.
“But I’m wasting my breath sitting here and asking what the plan is because I know none of you actually have a plan, because if there were a plan there would be some action. Not just words because words mean nothing without action that follows,” said Flores.
Like Flores, the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration is also calling for action: It’s time to put away our petty political bickering and work together in a bipartisan effort to build a new hospital for the people of Guam.