Guam Private Hospital Introduces Emergency Services

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Regional Medical City to offer more specialized services soon

By Jerick Sablan

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Sept. 8, 2015) – Guam’s new private hospital will begin providing emergency services Wednesday.

Dr. James Murphy, emergency room director at Guam Regional Medical City in Dededo, said the hospital’s emergency room is ready to open. The ER opens at 7 a.m. and will run 24/7, he said.

GRMC has been open since late June, but hasn’t had the necessary staff to open the ER, Murphy said.

"We’re excited to open," he said.

With 11 ER beds, an observation area and two trauma rooms, the Medical City’s emergency room is smaller than Guam Memorial Hospital’s ER, Murphy said.

Although it’s smaller, the ER is well equipped with state-of-art equipment, he added.

Murphy expects GRMC’s ER to be busy when it opens.

Under federal law, the hospital’s ER must accept any emergency patient, he said. But he encourages residents who don’t need to seek emergency care to see their primary doctor to avoid delays in receiving care.

Future services

In the near future, the ER will offer specialized services for cardiac and stroke patients, he added. GRMC also has an MRI in-house so patients don’t need to be transferred out to receive an MRI, Murphy said.

The emergency room employs 32 people with one ER doctor staffing it at all times, he said.

Murphy said the hospital is in communication with Guam Fire Department and the safety agency is aware the hospital will be providing emergency services starting Wednesday.

One entrance to the ER is exclusive to ambulances while another entrance is for other patients, he said.

The opening of the ER comes after some residents have sought emergency care at the private hospital.

As of Tuesday, a sign in front of the hospital stated it was not providing emergency services. GRMC officials have also on different occasions said the services weren’t yet available.

At the new hospital’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 20, Margaret Bengzon, chief executive officer of Guam Regional Medical City, said she hoped the hospital’s emergency service facilities would be available sometime the first week of August.

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