by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The Guam Regional Medical City has not submitted a formal application for a qualifying certificate, but they filed a letter of intention with the Guam Economic Development Authority earlier this year. While the agency awaits the submission of a formal application, the Guam Medical Association has expressed concerns with the request calling it unfair "special treatment".
GMA president Dr. Thomas Shieh contends the new hospital will compete with the Guam Memorial Hospital and local health clinics and offices.
Guam Healthcare and Hospital Development Foundation president and chairman Peter Sgro says the issue isn't about fairness but about jobs and filling a need in the healthcare industry. "This is a facility that is going to have a payroll that amounts to millions of dollars and taxes are going to paid on that and just the investment of this facility alone is $250 million," he said.
Sgro adds the facility will employ 197 people and will help ensure many residents will no longer have to go off-island for medical care. He adds some members of the GMA even assisted with the design of the new hospital.
The GRMC intends to ask for a 75% rebate of all income taxes for 20 years, 75% rebate of all dividend taxes paid for five years, 100% rebate of all withholding taxes for it's off-island owners for 20 years and 100% abatement of real property taxes for a decade.