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Back Local News GMH, DPHSS status hearings set

GMH, DPHSS status hearings set

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SENS. Dennis Rodriguez Jr. and Ben Pangelinan will be conducting a joint status hearing on the Guam Memorial Hospital and the Department of Public Health and Social Services next week.

The hearing, scheduled for Thursday, April 19, will focus on the agencies’ outstanding financial obligations. It will be held at the Legislature’s public hearing room at 9 a.m.

The senators have invited both agencies to make a presentation informing the public of the program services they provide that have ceased, are in the process of being discontinued, or are reduced by third-party vendors, due to non-payment or late payment.

The agencies are also expected to present to the lawmakers specific outstanding financial liabilities that are unbudgeted or under-budgeted to be able to work toward a solution to pay the debts off.

“Each year, we enter the budget review cycle with little consideration of outstanding financial obligations being carried by GMHA and DPHSS, which inevitably results later in a fiscal shortage, with vendors threatening to cancel or actually canceling services and supplies direly needed by their clients,” the senators wrote in an April 11 letter to GMHA interim Administrator Rey Vega and Medical Director Dr. Larry Lizama.

In addition to DPHSS and GMHA, the senators have also invited the directors of the Department of Administration and the Bureau of Budget and Management Research to attend the status hearing.

“We believe they may be helpful in clarifying the financial situation, as well as identifying and planning for the means by which we might approach addressing the budget situations at GMHA and DPHSS,” the senators wrote. “Financing adequate health care for our people is equally important as tax refunds and new schools.”

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