GMH condition critical: shutdown in future? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GMH condition critical: shutdown in future?

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - The Guam Memorial Hospital has been cited as one of the agencies in the worst financial shape here on Guam and the situation seems to be just getting worse.

The magic of Christmas hasn't been enough to make the cash flow problems at GMH disappear. Hospital administrator Peter John Camacho says the hospital is still facing major difficulties in getting necessary supplies. "We here understand and recognize our vendors and everything they have done to make sure we get the supplies we need but let's face it at some point it a business decision and they need to say I can't help you anymore," he explained.

Associate administrator of medical services Dr. Ricardo Eusebio confirms the dim reality GMH is facing, adding, "We are operating like we've been in the last month with vendors not wanting to supply us with the supplies we need."

Camacho says while this may not lead to a hospital-wide shutdown it could mean a shutdown of certain services. "I don't believe we are at that point we have had challenges in the past, and obviously through today," he said. So while Christmas Day may not bring a shutdown here at the island's only civilian hospital the threat of a shutdown in the near future is a very real possibility.

Said Camacho, "That a very bad situation that would be a very bad situation and that would be something the entire community would have to deal with."

Camacho adds Guam would not be able to count on Naval Hospital to come to the rescue, noting, "I know that they have helped out in the past as far as civilian humanitarian issues but I don't think they would be able to handle the flow of civilian into their doors."

For now, GMH continues to limp along as best it can. "We haven't been able to provide the services we normally provide," said the administrator, "so there are limitations we are not working like the way we used to six months ago."

For now and at least through the holidays people can continue to go to GMH. But for how much longer? According to Eusebio, the crisis is coming to a head, as he simply said, "We are at the end of the road."

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