by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Hoping to alleviate the resources and the financial strain imposed on the hospitals emergency room, public comments were received on Bill 158 to establish an outpatient urgent care facility at GMH. Hospital board chair Lee Webber told the Healthcare Committee that he had a single problem with the proposed measure: the specific wording that mandates the autonomous agency to create the facility at the Guam Memorial Hospital.
"My opinion that the legislature should be doing the same, not dictating to the hospital what exactly it has to do but allowing the hospital management to do that and work I cooperation with them to accomplish that and the word 'shall' is the only part that I see that I have difficulty with. I mean, not saying what you're proposing isn't needed," Webber explained.
He added it's clear the community needs such a facility but says the question is whether the hospital is the right place for it. Similar sentiments were echoed by hospital associate administrator for medical services, Dr. Larry Lizama, who said the legislation would create any challenge for the already financially and resources-strained civilian hospital.
"There is a challenge to increasing access to our people, medical access, but exactly where that should be and who should be mandated or be responsible for overseeing that I think should involve the public health community," he stated.
The Healthcare Committee said they would be willing to work with the hospital to tweak the legislation to make it more.