Guam Medical Association snubs governor's invitation to meet on hospital project planning
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The Guam Medical Association has declined Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero's invitation to an upcoming information meeting to address her plans to build a Guam medical complex.
The information meeting is scheduled for Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa Gallery.
“The date to meet on Nov. 27th will not suffice and many of our members are occupied and busy with patients," GMA Executive Director Pram Sullivan wrote to the government on behalf of the GMA.
According to the governor's office, the letter of regret came just hours after the invitation was sent.
"Although Sullivan provided a later date, on Sunday, Dec. 3, Governor Leon Guerrero will be on a federal mission in Washington, D.C," according to the governor's office.
The governor and the medical group have been at odds over the site of a new hospital.
While the doctors maintain that the public hospital must remain in Tamuning, the governor pushes her proposal to build a medical campus in Mangilao.
"The administration has made numerous attempts to schedule a meeting with GMA president Dr. Thomas Shieh. Dr. Shieh has stated repeatedly in media interviews and legislative testimony that he would gladly meet with governor Leon Guerrero to provide input," states a press release from the governor's office.
“While Dr. Shieh only represents a small portion of our island’s medical professionals, I am disappointed to hear him speak so emphatically about the ‘lack of input’ from the medical community yet repeatedly decline our invitations," Leon Guerrero said.
"He clearly has no intent to meet as he remains more focused on the longevity of his Tamuning clinic than the advancement of our island’s overall healthcare system,” she added.
The governor's office said the information meeting for the island’s medical community will proceed with or without the GMA.
Invitations were also extended to members of the Guam Medical Society, Guam Nurses Association, and healthcare professionals. Several of the island’s healthcare physicians and providers have already confirmed attendance, the governor's office said.
“We will continue to make attempts to work together for the betterment of the whole of Guam, and I remain committed to providing information to our island’s healthcare professionals–some of the most important stakeholders in this endeavor," the governor said.
"I encourage members of our medical community to join me and learn more about our efforts to build a hospital and a Guam Medical Complex outside Tamuning to support the island’s growing population, expand the services we provide to our people, ensure equity for southern residents, and work together towards the evolution of the healthcare profession and workforce to support Guam and our region," she added.