St. Luke’s agreement is historic for Guam; may open more opportunities

Don Sulat

Guam physicians will now be able to refer their Medicaid and MIP patients to St. Luke’s Medical Center in the Philippines for services that are not available on the island.

The St. Luke’s Medical Center and Democrat Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero signed the provider agreement yesterday, allowing Guam medical personnel to send their patients for treatment to the Medical Center in the Philippines. 

Don Sulat is the public information officer for the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services. 

“What this means for the people of Guam is those under Medicaid or MIP, if you want a procedure that can’t be done on Guam, let’s say it’s cancer, any other thing from cancer to diabetes check that we do not offer here, we can send you out to St.Lukes in the Philippines for your check up and whatever needs to be done,” said Sulat.

This agreement is the first foreign country hospital to formally become an enrolled provider for Guam Medicaid.

The Medicaid program provides all mandatory benefits and many optional benefits, including dental coverage and prescription drugs as well as covering airfare costs for patients and escort if medically required. 

Sulat said that an example being an oxygen tech – the patient may also be a child.

Additionally, Guam is the only territory that covers all mandatory benefits, including nursing facility services.

Guam Medicaid’s efforts to secure a Manila-based provider started as early as 2012 and with years of discussion, it has not been made possible.

Leon Guerrero said, “This partnership is a great example of how healthcare providers and government agencies can work together to improve the health outcomes of our communities.”

St. Luke’s Medical Center, located in Bonifacio Global City in the Philippines, offers specialty services aimed at addressing cancer, digestive and liver diseases, eyes, neurosciences, pediatrics and child care

Sulat shared with the Pacific News Center, this agreement has no end and could additionally open up Guam to more international partnerships 

“And as Governor and as Director San Agustin said the other day this is a big and historic move for Guam, this might open more possibilities, we’re not sure yet, but right now the people of Guam have better access to care,” he said.