Governor favors building a new public hospital

Guam Memorial Hospital
Guam Memorial Hospital (PNC file photo)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero says she favors building a new public hospital for Guam rather than repairing the old facility that is facing numerous infrastructure problems.

“That’s the direction I’m going,” said the governor in an interview with K-57’s Patti Arroyo this morning.

Last November, the Army Corps of Engineers conducted an assessment of the structural integrity of the hospital.  Following that assessment, Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio said the Army Crops provided a rough estimate of over $200 million to repair all the issues facing GMH.

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“If we’re going to spend that much just to repair GMH,” said the governor, “I would rather build a new hospital.”

The Army Corps of Engineers’ final report is not expected to be submitted until March. But based on the rough estimate to repair GMH, the governor said she is “already assuming” that the Army Corps recommendation will be to build a new hospital.

No final decision has been reached yet.

“If we do that, we then have to look at our options,” said the governor who mentioned the possibility of going to the bond market or seeking a federal grant.

“So, there is a plan, and I’m working with the hospital,” said the governor.

The governor said she is also working with the federal government to see if there is any excess land under the military’s control that can be used by GovGuam to build a new public hospital.

She said she will be meeting in Washington D.C. next week with Assistant Secretary of the Navy James Geurts about the return of excess land.

The governor flew off to Washington D.C. this morning to attend the National Governor’s Conference winter meeting which is taking place between Feb. 7 and 10 at the Washington Convention Center.