Guam - President of the Guam Medical Association Dr. Thomas Shieh is urging Guam's leaders to petition Congress to place more attention on improving healthcare on Guam and other United States territories. An American Medical Association publication released the findings of a new study concluding that hospitals in territories have significantly higher death rates and lower performance for patients treated with ailments like heart failure and pneumonia when compared to hospitals in the U.S. mainland.

"What the lawmakers need to do is take the study and make a plea to Congress to the United States leaders and let them know these are the disparities and they cannot be putting the territories in the back burner anymore," Shieh told KUAM News. "They need to bring us up to par as far as financing healthcare on this island and also other territories."

The study also found that eliminating this disparity should be a national priority. The GMA has written a letter to Governor Eddie Calvo, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo and the 31st Guam Legislature offering their assistance in addressing the inequality.