Bill seeks performance management contract for GMH

The old and dilapidated Guam Memorial Hospital will be replaced by a new hospital. (PNC file photo)

Senator James C. Moylan has introduced Bill 305-35, which seeks to authorize the Board of Trustees of the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority (GMHA) to prepare a Request for Proposal for a Performance Management Contract in the management of the Guam Memorial Hospital.

According to Moylan, this would initiate a process summarized from 2016, where the former Administrator of the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA), Jay Rojas, requested that the Guam Legislature authorize the pursuing of a Public-Private Partnership for the management and operations of GMHA.

This was based on the results of a Request for Information (RFI) that was mandated by Public Law 33-143, and which authorized GEDA to pursue what interest options for GMHA existed in the market.

According to Moylan, three parties responded with interest in seeking the Public-Private Partnership in managing the hospital but no actions were pursued since.

“Just as it was then, the problems at GMHA continue today, and while there are fiscal issues, there are also concerns on a management aspect. Allowing an outside entity with experience in hospital management would not only remove politics from the public hospital, but would provide it a breath of fresh air,” Moylan said in a news release.

Bill 305-35 allows the Board of GMHA to prepare an RFP, which shall be submitted to the Guam Legislature for further action. This includes public input, deliberations, and any modifications, in terms of the scope of what is being entered into this Public-Private Partnership.

Upon action on the RFP, and enactment by the Governor of Guam, the Board of Trustees of GMHA would be able to issue the RFP. The board would then submit the findings and recommendations to the Guam Legislature for further action and approval, and this would include public input. Only when the measure is enacted, shall GMHA pursue the Performance Manage Contract.

“The process being pursued by the legislation is thorough, with reasonable timelines, and provides for adequate input by the community,” Moylan said.

Likewise, it is recommended that even if a new public hospital is constructed, that the Performance Management Contract be transferable to assure its continuity.

Bill 305-35 does provide timelines for the contractual relationship, and sets it at 10 years, with extensions every 5 years, and not to exceed 20 years. However, it is indicated that performance evaluations be established regularly, to assure that accountability is met with the contractor, including provisions that allow for termination of the contract if objectives are not fulfilled. Lastly, the legislation does require the inclusion of language in the RFP which identify the protection of classified employees of the GMHA.

“The legislation sets up the dialogue on a discussion which has been on the radar for years and should have been on the table yesterday. I am referring to allowing a professional entity, with experience in managing public hospitals, to oversee the operations and management of the Guam Memorial Hospital,” the senator said.

He added: “Establishing a Public-Private Partnership does not end the pursuing of a new hospital facility, because that will take years, but in the meantime the community deserves a decently managed public hospital. Plus we need to set the parameters, because if we do not establish a certain bar now, even a new hospital will end up where we are today, not during the time frame of two generations from now, but literally the next one.” (press release)