For about a year now, one of the island’s obstetricians has pushed for renovations to be made to the outdated maternity ward at the Guam Memorial Hospital. To get the gears going on the project, on January of this year, a bill which is now a public law, allowed GovGuam to borrow up to $7 million dollars to improve the maternity ward. Dr. Tom Shieh says although they still haven’t received the $7 million yet, they did receive $2.3 million from Compact Impact Aid so they can now start on renovations to the labor and delivery rooms at least.
Guam – Chairperson for Maternity Ward Renovations Dr. Tom Shieh says, “Labor and delivery, we’re ready to start. With $2.3 million from Compact Impact, I don’t know what we’re waiting for. Those are specific funds already dedicated. I think we should start with delivery. We just need to get the architect together and bid it out and that’s it.”
Shieh explains, “Right now, we budget it at $8.5 million. We got $2.3 million from Compact Impact Aid yesterday. We need $7 million from GEDA. Even if GEDA gives us the $7 million towards the tail end, we’re still going to be fine. We’re going to be over $9 million. The rest of the equipment, that’s not needed right away, that can come later. What I want to know is when we’re going to break ground. A lot of moms are wondering. We deliver over 250 babies at Guam Memorial Hospital so it’s important for us to get the answer to moms because it’s long overdue. It’s over 24 years old.”
Shieh says, “The timeline, that’s what the Governor has to ask. I really hope the Governor and GEDA put this on the fast track because mother and babies are priority. First I want to thank to governor for what he’s done so far. We want to make sure GEDA takes a hold of this because it’s a big investment, little money, but the return revenue for GMH will be far greater than what they invested in.”