One of three local neurosurgeons, Dr. David Weingarten announced the closure of his private practice due to the pandemic.
Weingarten, however, has every intention of sticking around.
Weingarten announced the closure of the Weingarten Institute for Neuroscience last month in a letter sent out to his patients and the medical community.
He said in an interview with PNC News that the economic realities of the island’s healthcare system make it challenging for any private practice to survive.
“Particularly now in the coronavirus times, when the operating rooms are closed to all but the most emergent of surgeries..we can’t do the elective surgery that typically makes the money for a surgical practice,” Weingarten said.
Although he’s closing his private practice, Weingarten plans to continue working on island.
He says he’s in talks with the Guam Memorial Hospital to work out a plan that will allow him to remain on Guam and also travel off-island to hone his skills on a regular basis.
Weingarten opened up shop on Guam in 2015 because he wanted to go to an underserved community where he can make a difference.
Since then, Weingarten says he’s proud of what he and fellow neurosurgeons have accomplished on Guam by improving the island’s services in this specialized field.
As he closes his clinic and waits for a deal with GMH to be finalized, Weingarten will be taking a much-needed break.
“I could not afford to keep this clinic open while that government procurement process is percolating through the system. And so we are closing as of November 1st. And I anticipate that it will probably take at least a couple of months for that process to go through and for us to come up with a contract … during which time I’m going on vacation. It’s been five years of long, hard work and I’m going to try to take a little time off while the contracting process runs its way through the system,” Weingarten said.