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Urgent to emergent medical care system

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - On the issue of healthcare in his 2012 State of the Island Address, Governor Eddie Calvo announced that by the end of this quarter the Guam Memorial Hospital will be implementing its austerity plan that will allow GMH to hire more nurses and doctors it needs. Additionally he has directed GMH, the Guam Fire Department and Public Health to develop a tiered urgent to emergent medical care system. 

This will allow Public Health facilities in Dededo, Mangilao and Inarajan to establish urgent care centers and receive non-emergency patients transported by ambulance.

Public Health Director Jim Gillan said, "We all know that the hospital's emergency room is overcrowded and a lot of the cases are really urgent not emergent and they really jam up the system. We're trying to put together some kind of working arrangement between the fire department, EMT guys, Public Health and the hospital; it's going to take a lot more than just simply saying it.

"Because we're going to have to get radios, communications between one another probably going to have to bring in additional staffing that has a little more training in urgent care cause right now we're only doing kind of laid back primary care."

Gillan said it's doable, but it's not going to be free because of the additional costs associated for the transition in responsibilities. Meanwhile, Governor Eddie Calvo, has also instructed Public Health to start working toward extending the hours at the community health centers.

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