Minority Leader backs Governor’s preference for new hospital

Sen. Telo Taitague (file photo)

Senator Telo Taitague, the Legislature’s minority leader, is supporting the governor’s plan to build a new hospital for the island.

Taitague said she agrees that a new public hospital facility should be built in addition to addressing urgent repairs required at the current Guam Memorial Hospital.

In a letter to the governor, Taitague wrote that she is excited that the governor supports the building of a new public hospital.

“To address deteriorating and unsafe conditions at the existing GMHA facility, I agree with the assessment by the governor that GovGuam must ensure limited taxpayer resources are used to fund long-term solutions. With more than $200 million worth of repairs needed to rehabilitate the current GMHA facility (according to a November 2019 rough estimate by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), the option of building a new hospital, instead, will certainly require a transparent decision-making process, proper planning, and broad community support,” Taitague stated.

Taitague is also the author of Public Law 35-58 which established a task force to manage discussions, planning, and financing proposals aimed at addressing GMHA infrastructure issues.

In a separate letter to Speaker Tina Muna Barnes, Taitague requested the Speaker to help coordinate an initial meeting of the task force to facilitate discussions and planning efforts.

In response, Speaker Barnes said she has appointed Sen. Wil Castro as her alternate and Sen. Amanda Shelton as her appointee to the task force.

Barnes said the two senators are very knowledgeable about the issues facing GMH and would be an asset to the newly formed task force.