Governor: Private clinics shouldn’t charge for COVID tests

Community COVID-19 testing. (PNC file photo)

When it comes to private clinics charging for COVID-19 testing, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero says the people of Guam should just say no.

The governor says if a private clinic tries to charge for testing, simply remind them that they’re not supposed to do so.

“They should not charge for testing. Because we, the government, pays for those testing. So for example, if you go to a private clinic, that private clinic will take the specimen and send it to either Public Health for testing or to DLS for testing. So both testing laboratories…we incur … the government incurs the cost for that. So I have asked Dr. Nguyen, who’s head of the PAG, to please remind..again..these clinics that they should not be charging. And he agrees. The PAG agrees that they should not be charged for testing,” the governor said.

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On the air with Newstalk K57, the governor says residents should remind clinics that they have been informed not to charge for the tests.

When it comes to the high number of COVID patients in the island’s hospitals, the governor said she’s just as alarmed as everyone else.

Leon Guerrero says although GMH has taken measures to expand its medical staff and GovGuam has a playbook and resources ready for a worst-case scenario, she wants to remind everyone that things will only turn around if everyone does their part.

She said this is important to remember as she’s seen people becoming laxer with measures such as wearing masks and avoiding social gatherings.

The governor said she understands people’s impatience with reopening the island. And she understands the concerns of the business community as well.

But she won’t bring the island out of PCOR 1 until she sees sufficient improvement in the island’s COVID data.

The business community has recently held marches and rallies to encourage GovGuam to loosen restrictions to revive the island’s economy.

As to her controversial statement saying people are “the vector, not the victim,” the governor said although it would’ve been better to say people are both vectors and victims, she, for the most part, stands by the statement.

The governor stressed: “That is not derogatory terminology. Vector is a scientific terminology that’s used in public health and in healthcare. You are the carrier of the virus. I was the carrier of the virus, because I became positive, right?”