Bill seeks to build a pool of homegrown health care professionals on Guam

Vice Speaker Tina Muna Barnes has introduced a bill that would take advantage of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP) to bolster the chances of students from Guam who want to pursue a career in the medical field.

“It is called the Birada Act, which means come back or round trip,” Muna Barnes said, explaining the concept of Bill 158-36 introduced Wednesday.

The bill is designed to develop Guam's own homegrown health care professionals.

“The PSEP will allow local students to get sponsorship from the government and private businesses here to pursue health and medical degrees such as optometry, dentistry, veterinary medicine and so much more,” Muna Barnes said at a press conference Thursday.

“Once they complete their education, they are required to come back home and practice here on Guam. This allows our children to access 130 participating programs in 10 professional healthcare fields at 60 universities, through the PSEP, a student can save anywhere from 32,000 to 130,000 by participating in PSEP, we all benefit by inspiring and compelling graduates to return home to practice and bolster the professional health c