GMH: $300 million for new hospital not enough, but it’s a start

Guam Memorial Hospital (PNC file photo)

As Guam prepares for another round of federal funding, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero said that one of her priorities is to use some of that funding for the hospital.

Guam Memorial Hospital Authority president Lillian Perez-Posadas spoke with Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo about those plans.

Perez-Posadas said that the amount of money the governor plans to set aside for the hospital isn’t enough but it’s a start.

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“That money is earmarked to build a new hospital. We want to reserve and preserve that funding for that purpose. It’s a start. I know it’s not going to be enough, but at least we have that seed money, we have that money that will help us get started, and then it will be on the task force to look for other sources of funding, and ways to continue and support the construction of the facility,” Perez-Posadas said.

The Army Corps of Engineers estimated that a new hospital would cost about $700 million dollars.

The governor has earmarked $300 million of American Rescue Plan funds to build one.

Perez-Posadas said that she’ll meet with the Guam Economic Development Authority later this week to move forward with a feasibility study.

She said the feasibility study will examine questions such as how big a new hospital would need to be as well as what kinds of services it’ll need to provide.

The Army Corps of Engineers also estimated that it would cost between $700,000 and $1 million to retrofit and renovate the existing Guam Memorial Hospital facility.

Although that undertaking falls well within the amount earmarked by the governor, Perez-Posadas said that it would be a better use of time and money to just build a new facility.

“It’s best that we spend that money to build a new hospital. Because this building has already met its lifespan. Really, it would be more advantageous and more beneficial to the people of Guam to have a new hospital, that meets the current standards and codes of a hospital facility, they’re planning it…and envisioning it…that in another 50 years, this is what this hospital will be, what it’s going to look like, so it can last that long,” Perez-Posadas said.