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  • By Pacific island Times News Staff

GMH authorized to tap into pharmaceutical fund

Governor Eddie Calvo on Friday signed an executive order authorizing the Guam Memorial Hospital’s pharmaceutical fund to be used as a direct subsidy for the hospital’s operations.

“I cannot allow GMH to fail. Regardless of what insurance you carry, whether Medicaid, MIP, or private, without a hospital where would they go? GRMC alone cannot carry the entire island – we’ve always said we need both hospitals to be functioning to accommodate our population,” Calvo said in signing E.O. 2018-11.

GMH officials said the new infusion of money allocated under the executive order will go toward paying what’s owed, some $14 million in payables, as well as operations, such as procurement of supplies, medications, maintenance of its facilities, and necessary upgrades.

“The monies GMH will now receive from the pharmaceutical fund will allow for us to purchase sorely needed supplies and to maintain our aging facilities,” GMH’s Administrator PeterJohn Camacho said. “It is no secret that our hospital is in dire need of improvements and this influx of monies will now allow for it.”

According to a press release from Adelup, the governor signed the executive order because “senators didn’t provide a dedicated funding source that GMH and the administration has been pushing senators to provide” A dedicated funding would have ended the annual shortfall over the last 40 years, the governor’s office said.

“We thought there was a solution already set, except the solution was stripped away at the behest of Mike San Nicolas. Instead of an alternate solution to the problem, senators created a new problem,” Adelup’s press release states. “Senators, instead of ensuring there was funding for stability in all sectors of the government, created a scenario where the governor had to choose between the island’s only public hospital or funding Medicaid.”

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