Daily Archives: 02/18/2003

Working Late

I’m working late tonight, probably for another hour or two. It sucks, but it’s the best time to pull data from the servers in Laguna. Fewer people processing claims means more bandwidth for me. As it is, pulling this data takes ten to twenty minutes per query. I shudder to think what it would be like tomorrow morning when I need to hand in this report.

Since I’m getting tired, I think I will actually prepare the data tomorrow morning. I’m basically just sitting here, making sure the process doesn’t hang. Which means time to surf the web and goof off a little.

GMH Running In The Red

Add to the litany of Guam’s crumbling social services: Guam Memorial Hospital Authority (GMHA), Guam’s only civilian hospital, is running $1 million into debt every month. The new director at the hospital is spouting dire warnings about ‘complete financial collapse’ and massive staff cutbacks at the facility.

It’s no secret that the hospital is a mess. Locals say that GMH stands for “Get Me to Hawaii,” a reflection on the number of people that go off island for medical care. Hell, our current Lt. Governor left Guam for medical care earlier this month. The hospital lost its accreditation ages ago, so long ago I can only vaguely remember discussing this as an age-old fact ten years ago. The new administrator, Bill McMillan, says GMHA needs to trim 300 people from it’s payroll. Again, this is no secret. Everyone knows the hospital is overstaffed and provides pitiful healthcare. The hospital is run by GovGuam, and GovGuam is interested in one thing, providing jobs.

Perhaps I am being cynical, but I expect Bill McMillan to join the rest of broken and discarded hospital administrators. Most seem to last about six months to a year before they resign in frustration. The bureaucracy at GMHA thwarts all attempts at change. After all, they make enough money to go off-island for their healthcare and avoid GMH entirely.

Another Close Shave

The Pacific Daily News ran a story today about a near disaster involving a Philippine Airlines flight in December. Seems a flight from Manila came within 35 feet of the ground over Nimitz Hill during it’s approach to the A.B. Won Pat International Airport. The plane snapped several power lines before the flight crew rapidly pulled up and averted a CFIT (controlled-flight-into-terrain). The Airbus A330 contained 115 passengers and crew. This is harrowingly similar to the 1997 Korean Airlines Flight 801 crash of a Boeing 747 into the same hill, which resulted in 228 people dying.

The NTSB informed the Philippine Air Transport Office with their preliminary report and disciplinary action was taken against the flight crew. They apparently mentioned their error to no one and simply flew back to Manila. It was only after ground crews at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport noticed damage to the fuselage that an investigation was initiated.