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Senator visits southern clinic

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Less than 24 hours after he introduced legislation to expand healthcare services to southern residents, Senator Brant McCreadie took a tour of the Southern Regional Medical Clinic this morning. Talofofo resident Patrick Taimanglo is looking forward to see what will happen with Bill 51, introduced Wednesday by the incumbent senator.

Taimanglo told KUAM News, "That would be great because I believe I have a lot of family who do travel to majority always North for dialysis and for medical. It would be a lot more convenient for us southern residents if it can just be located here in the southern region." Bill51  would require Public Health to enter in a contractual agreement with the Guam Memorial Hospital. The Southern Regional Medical Center would serve as a satellite medical facility for GMH.

The measure focuses on extended care, hemodialysis care, basic laboratory services, and pharmacy and pharmaceutical services. "We're leaders, we're elected officials," McCreadie said. "We were put in office to do this work so that people don't have to worry about where they're going to get their next pharmacy medicine or where they are going to get their next hemodialysis bed."

The new and improved Southern Regional Medical Clinic first opened its doors over four years ago. It replaced the old facility that was constructed in 1972.  After a $7.7 million renovation the new structure increased its capacity for care. During Thursday morning's tour, the Republican lawmaker saw firsthand the 24,000-square foot structure is underutilized. "I mean, you've seen it for yourself - there's maybe 20 rooms that we can use, state of the art, and we're just going to have to put our minds together, sharpen a pencil and make it happen," the senator added.

Attorney Ignacio Aguigui, the senator's policy advisor, added, "It's a facility that everybody can come to and I think it will also alleviate a lot of the patient population that gets seen up at the hospital. It will be available to all residents out there and I think it will be great. It's definitely something that's been lacking here."

Funding for the expansion would come from a portion of the funds submitted to GMH from the GMHA Healthcare Trust and Development Fund.  While no public hearing has been set yet, Santa Rita resident Elaine Pinaula shares her position on the measure, saying, "I think it's a good idea for the southerners it's really far to travel to the central and north, so it's a pretty good idea if you ask me, I like it."
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