Guam – A big turnout both for and against Bill #441 during a hearing before the Health Committee Thursday afternoon.
The measure was proposed by Health Committee Chair Senator Dennis Rodriguez. It would license and regulate the practice of Medical Assistants on Guam.
A number of students already enrolled at GCC turned out in support of the measure which they said would help ensure patient safety by establishing professional standards and qualifications.
However a number of medical professionals spoke against the bill saying it was un-necessary intrusion into and pointing out that no other state or territory licenses medical assistants.
Guam Medical Association President Dr. Tom Shieh spoke on behalf of the Executive Board saying “it is the supervising physician’s duty to ensure his or her medical assistant is fully qualified … the government should not interfere with that responsibility … we therefore cannot and should not mandate medical assistants to be certified in order to work.”
Although disagreeing over the need for the bill, Dr. Shieh told the GCC staff and students that the Guam Medical Association would invite them to work with the GMA in improving the existing GCC program. “We want GCC to succeed and we will leave no graduates behind,” said Dr. Shieh.