What's it going to cost for the hospital's electrical panel? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

What's it going to cost for the hospital's electrical panel?

Posted: Jul 12, 2018 4:23 PM Updated:

$1,700 or $6 million? Those are the two separate repair assessments for the hospital's electrical panel.  GMH says a loss of power due to a failure of the panel would risk patient's lives.  But the question from senators is: how much do you need to pay to fix it?

$1,747.73, according to a final report sent to hospital administrator Peter John Camacho by GPA general manager John Benavente on Tuesday.  GMH had sought the Guam Power Authority's recommendation on the more than 40-year-old main electrical panel, and GPA concludes - among other things - that it does not appear to be in danger of immediate failure, but it did have a few recommendations to continue safe operations: like wiping down the equipment and removing all dust or Covering and sealing exposed, unused conduits. 

GPA says it'll even come up with an emergency response plan for any future issues with the main panel. A day later GMH issued a statement saying it wanted to clarify media reports about the panel. It said prudent practice and standards require preparedness for emergencies, and the panel is 43 years old, almost three times its economic life.  GMH says it discussed a possible power failure as part of a table top exercise last month, and says the threats are real and require planning, especially as it goes through self-assessment to meet the requirements of the Medicaid and Medicare programs.

GMH also released a recommendation from electrical engineering contractor EMCE to replace and remove the panel. The company says a hospital's loss of electrical power can result in devastating consequences.  It says "band-aid fixes" since the mid-90's have made replacement of the panel a necessity.

EMCE also listed a series of critical concerns with the panel. It concludes that replacement of the main panel will address the hospital's master plan, increase reliability, and eliminate the "eminent danger that can be life-threatening for patients."

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