Guam- The Governor’s Office states that it’s doing everything it can to help the Guam Memorial Hospital’s cash shortfall. However, it feels throwing money to solve the hospital’s problems is not enough.
In recent weeks, GMH has had problems paying its vendors and has suspended its hot meal service to conserve food supplies for patients and staff. Despite the Department of the Interior reprogramming $1 million in compact impact funds for the hospital, as requested by the Governor, it appears to have barely made a dent in the hospital’s finances. Governor’s spokesman Shawn Gumataotao says as an autonomous agency, GMH needs to do better at collections, especially to keep its accreditation. He also feels GMH surviving solely on a government subsidy isn’t enough and it’s a problem the new administration will be handling.
“You throw good money at a situation like GMH, you will find out the end result will be, which will be bad” said Gumataotao. “We need to find a way to either do a permanent funding source or look at opportunities to reduce the operating costs. There’s going to have to be some attention to it and we believe over the next couple of days, will that solution be found? It just won’t happen. Even though we’ve given money in the last couple days, each and every day, we give as much as we possibly can. But does that solve the problems? No. Will the next administration be tasked with that? Absolutely.”
Meanwhile, Vice Speaker BJ Cruz has also sent a letter to the Department of Administration with concerns of GovGuam’s cash shortfalls affecting the medically indigent program payments to GMH. Cruz has requested billing information to find out if any outstanding bills are owed to the hospital.