Guam – Senator Frank Aguon is questioning the Defense Department’s Record of Decision on the military buildup citing what the Senator termed, “a failure to address Guam concerns on a broad array of issues.”
Aguon stated, “Unfortunately, they seemed to have ignored the many concerns raised by the community regarding infrastructure, land use, and the impact on our people and our culture. Final as it may appear to be, this so called ‘Record of Decision’ can not be allowed to stand without visible financial support for Guam. Working with our Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo we need to pursue this at all levels to ensure that Guam is fairly treated.”
Aguon, who chairs the Legislature’s Health Committee, highlighted several shortcomings in the DOD plans with respect to health care. “Guam’s existing health infrastructure does not have the capacity to deal with the projected surge in population and yet DOD projects that approximately 25,000 foreign laborers may be needed to meet DoD’s 2014 relocation deadline. Largely unanswered is how health care will be provided to all these workers. Will they have health insurance? Will emergency care be provided alone by GMH’s already overburdened emergency room? What preventive measures will be in place to prevent the possible spread of communicable diseases that may accompany such a massive influx into our population. The ROD is silent about all this. We also have to keep in mind that after the major construction period, our island will see an enormous permanent increase in our population. The ROD does not really address the concern about the strain on our health care system by this permanent increase,” Aguon said. The Senator went on to note that the Legislature has long called for Naval Hospital to not only take up the burden of providing health care for the estimate 25,000 foreign laborers but also provide health care to FAS citizens who have migrated to Guam as a result of the Compact Agreements.
Any additional funds for Guam as a result of the buildup must partly be applied toward the expansion of healthcare services on Guam, i.e., GMHA facility expansion, Community Health Center facility needs, and the recruitment of nurses and other medical professionals.