Multimedia Todu Guam Articles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 23, 2016

 Senator Rodriguez wants your input to establish expanded Health Insurance for ALL Guamanians.

Online survey now available at www.toduguam.com

Tamuning, Guam.  Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr. Chairman of the Committee on Health, Economic Development, Homeland Security, and Senior Citizens calls on the community to take a short online survey that attempts to gather additional information to help his efforts to expand health insurance coverage to more Guamanians.

 

Tens of thousands of Guam’s residents are currently without healthcare insurance coverage and because of this urgently needed care often goes untreated.  Worse yet, it is only when they are driven by their pain to go to our Guam Memorial Hospital that they finally receive treatment.  Without consistent access to care their condition becomes far worse than if they had treatment at an earlier stage in the illness or condition. Having insurance allows people to develop a relationship with a doctor and this relationship enables early detection of health concerns.  Without insurance, people are often faced with their inability to pay for needed early treatment, the condition worsens, and now the needed care has now become very costly due to the delay.  Our hospital and all of us then absorb the costs for their care.  This unacceptable cycle must be broken by the provision of timely access to affordable healthcare.

 

Senator Rodriguez is focused and moving towards a broader more encompassing approach; essentially, the universal health care approach.  Universal health care is seen by many as the means by which, through public policy mandates, the expansion of coverage availability to the widest possible portion of our people needing health care insurance. This could be included under the umbrella of a government regulated and guided healthcare system providing access to coverage.

 

The  survey is intended to help gather additional information on a segment of our population’s views as to this approach. 

 

“I am all too well aware of the challenges in finding affordable solutions to the ever increasing costs of health care coverage for the people of Guam.  Far too many families and individuals are either uninsured or underinsured.  The exorbitant costs are fostering a widespread inclination towards delaying essential preventative healthcare, which in turn is tragically leading to a rapidly increasing incidence of a disease or life threatening condition being discovered and treated in its later stages; at an even greater cost and often resulting in a disastrously dire outcome.  This is why we need to work hard to establish expanded health insurance coverage for our people. ” Senator Rodriguez stated.

 

TO TAKE THE SURVEY:  Click on the Survey Tab (top right of this page) and select from employee survey or employer survey. This first round of survey focuses on working families and employers.  Subsequent surveys targeting other demographics will be forthcoming as needed.

 

Senator Rodriguez will be the guest speaker at the Guam Medical Association (GMA) special meeting on April 7, 2016.  Similar events and village town hall meetings are being coordinate in an effort to seek as much input from the community as well as providing more details on the expansion of health insurance coverage to our people.

 

For more information, please contact Chuck Tanner, Chief of Staff, [email protected] with the Office of Senator Rodriguez.

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Tamuning, Guam.  Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., Chairman of the Committee on Health, Economic Development, Homeland Security, and Senior Citizens, following the Congressional Address of Congresswoman Madeline Z. Bordallo, Guam’s delegate to the U.S. Congress, introduced Resolution No. 308-33(LS), relative to encouraging Governor Eddie Calvo to petition the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to include the Philippines and Vietnam in the list of approved countries in the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program.

 

Senator Rodriguez likewise supports Congresswoman Bordallo’s call to Governor Calvo to exercise his authority provided in the 2008 Consolidated Natural Resources Act to seek the U.S. DHS to add the Philippines and Vietnam to the Guam-CNMI visa waiver program.

 

Late last year, Senator Rodriguez reached out to Congresswoman Bordallo to seek her support and collaboration to establish a Guam-only visa waiver program for the Philippines and Vietnam.

 

The senator’s office has been following the rapid economic expansion and social rights advancement of Southeast Asian countries over the past few years.  Their continuing progress in this regard is meaningfully bolstered by countries opening doors for their inclusion in Western world experiences and opportunities, not by keeping doors closed.

 

“There is a growing middle class population in the Philippines and Vietnam that have disposable income that Guam’s economy can certainly benefit from.  The addition of a new airline from the Philippines, Cebu Pacific this month is also a testament of the desire of more Filipinos wanting to travel to Guam,” Senator Rodriguez stated.

 

There are numerous sectors of our community, to include island leaders, who have enthusiastically toiled with this idea for many years.  A few years ago, Senator Rodriguez was fortunate to be able to discuss the inclusion of the Vietnam market in Guam’s tourism portfolio with the late business icon, Mr. Pedro Ada.  This important conversation and ongoing effort continues between the Senator and Mr. Ada’s son, Sonny Ada.

 

“I am committed to pursuing this effort until Guam has successfully achieved this lucrative economic expansion of our tourism markets by inclusion of the Philippines and Vietnam.  I am especially inspired to fulfill the desires of the late Mr. Pedro Ada in welcoming Vietnamese visitors to Guam.  I will work closely with Governor Calvo and Congresswoman Bordallo to ensure they are supported in all efforts to make this a reality for Guam.”  Rodriguez concluded.

 

Guam is home to thousands of Filipinos.  Aside from the obvious, positive economic impact a Philippine visa waiver program would have for Guam, it is also an opportunity for families to unite and celebrate our shared culture and traditions.

 
Si Yu'os Ma'ase'!
 
 

The Committee on Health has scheduled the following hearings on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at the Public Hearing Room in the Guam Legislature.

The Committee will accept written and oral testimony on the following:

10am-
Informational Hearing on the Proposed Rules and Regulations governing the Issuance of Sanitary Permits, as submitted by the Department of Public Health and Social Services via the office of the Governor.

2pm-
Public Hearing on Bill No. 264-33 (LS) - T.A. Morrison / V. A. Ada T. R. Muña Barnes / R.J. Respicio / F.B. Aguon, Jr. / B.T. McCreadie / F.F. Blas, Jr.

An act to amend § 68605 of article 6, chapter 68, and to add a new § 68602.1 to article 6, chapter 68, both of division 2, title 21, Guam Code Annotated, relative to the Southern Development Master Plan.

6pm-
Informational Hearing exploring the expansion of Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) on Guam and the various manners in which AAI using dogs can be utilized.

Written testimony may be addressed to Sen. Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., Chairman, and sent via email to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or sent to 176 Serenu Ave. Suite 107 Tamuning, Guam or the Legislature Mailroom at 155 Hesler Place Hagatna, Guam.

Individuals who may require assistance are asked to contact the office of Sen. Rodriguez at 649-8638/0511 no later than 48 hours prior to the scheduled hearing.

Si Yu'os Ma'ase'!

The Department of Public Health and Social Services, through the office of the Governor, submitted to the Legislature their request to amend the Rules and Regulations relative to the issuance of Sanitary Permits.

The proposal was submitted pursuant to the Administrative Adjudication Law.  Received by the office of the Speaker on February 4, 2016 and referred to the Committee on Health.

Senator Rodriguez, Chairman of the Committee on Health, will be conducting a Round table discussion on the proposal.  Business owners and other entities who will be affected by these changes are invited to participate to share their concerns or comment on the proposal.  

The Round table will be held on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 10am in the Legislature's Public Hearing Room.

The proposal may be found at: http://202.128.4.46/Mess_Comms_33rd/Doc%20No.%2033GL-16-1325.pdf

For more infomration please contact our office.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

SENATOR RELEASES GMH TASK FORCE REPORT: 
10-Point Plan Outlined For Long-Term Sustainability of Public Hospital and Overall Improvement of Health Care on Guam.


Tamuning, Guam.  Today Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr. released the work of the GMH Task Force that started in April 2015. The results of their efforts represent a shift in thinking from previous groups and provide a 10-point plan to chart a new direction for Guam Memorial Hospital.  This plan provides specific legislative and other actions that will begin a process for the long term resolution of the problems faced by GMH for many years. 

Initially tasked to complete the effort in 60 days, the Senator realized more time would be needed. As the team started their work they found they would need help going through the vast amount of information available and thus engaged Dr. Roseann Jones from the University of Guam to assist in their undertakings. The next reality was coming to understand that to truly “fix” GMH, they would need to look at the healthcare system.  A review of the history of GMH showed many efforts since the inception of the hospital.  "I view the efforts of the past to deal with the decades old challenges of GMH to that of Sisyphus, wherein previous attempts to make progress by pushing the rock up the hill, only to see it roll back down and having to start again."  Senator Rodriguez said, referring to the Ancient Greek myth of Sisyphus."By reviewing previous efforts, I've found that those efforts only focused on the hospital therefore limiting the results produced. We ought to take a holistic approach that addresses the system of care to this situation. Part of the 10-point plan lays the path to transition government operation of our public hospital into a public private partnership that will provide quality hospital services which are accessible to all the people of Guam." Rodriguez concluded.

As the healthcare sector on Guam grows; with the addition of a new hospital, the challenges of the Affordable Care Act implementation and the ever increasing cost and complexity of providing healthcare, it is imperative that we gain an understanding of how each of these factors work together. The hospital is but one piece of a system. Each piece impacts the other.  It is therefore prudent to address the system In order to have greater, long term impact and to put in place the tools needed to move to this system thinking.  

 
The entire report is available to the public at http://toduguam.com/special/docs/gmh2016.pdf. The 10-point plan can be found in the reports executive summary.

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