Patients traveling to Manila who would find assistance from the Manila Guam Referral Office of comfort have that option once again.

The Manila referral office closed in April 2003. The new office will open any day.

Now assistance will be provided through Inter-Island Coordinating and Promotional Services a Guam-based company which presently operates in the offices of JRN Air Conditioning & Refrigeration in Harmon Industrial Park.

The Inter-Island Manila office is located in the City and Land Mega Plaza in the Ortigas Center in Pasig City approximately 15 minutes from St. Luke’s Hospital in Makati.

The Guam Medical Referral Office has a staff of three. Teresita Bernhart staff assistant has been at the referral office since the advent of the Camacho administration. She told the Journal the Manila office services had been “privatized.”

The Guam Medical Referral Office located inside the Guam Passport Office on the second floor of the Pacific News Building in Hagåtña will still be the primary contact for patients.

These are then referred to Inter-Island services.

Inter-Island will be paid $120 000 per year to provide referral services in Manila in quarterly increments of $30 000.

The contact between Inter-Island and the government of Guam was dated Dec. 30 2003 signed April 16 2004. It was signed by Douglas B. Moylan attorney general; Shannon Taitano in the office of the governor Claudia S. Agfale procurement officer at the General Services Agency and Gov. Felix P. Camacho.

The services according to the contract between Inter Island and the government of Guam “Are of a special and temporary nature which has been determined to be performed under contract by professional personnel other than employees in the service of the government.”

Inter-Island is tasked “To assist in the establishment of a Guam Medical office in the Philippines to serve Guam residents traveling to that country for medical treatment.”

The contract stated “Services may be provided directly or through subcontracting those services out.”

The contract also listed a detailed specific scope of work for the Manila office which included recruiting and maintaining employees; maintaining the office and records; maintaining transportation services; and providing those and other patient and escort facilitation.

Julisis R. Nucum general manager of JRN which has offices in Pomona Calif. and Pampanga in the Philippines has been instrumental in the inception of the Manila Inter Island office. He told the Journal the Manila office might be organized through the Inter-Island Foundation which he described as “formed by lawyers doctors and engineers in Manila.”

Nucum said the foundation would hire an executive director a secretary and two drivers in Manila. “It’s very minimal ” he said.

As of press time the Manila office of Inter-Island had secured a lease but was still finalizing phone lines and Internet access.

The Guam office of Inter-Island is to be managed by Jose Q. Sambo accountant with Micro School and will have two or three staff in Guam Nucum said.

Nucum said he had introduced Sambo to the referral office.

Sambo told the Journal “They will provide the money here. We will have a contract with the foundation the same contract we received from GovGuam.” He said precise division of money between the Guam office of Inter-Island and the Manila office of the Inter-Island Foundation was not certain. “We haven’t established that yet but mostly it will go there.”

He said Nucum had given private financial support to those patients that had already left for Manila through Inter-Island as the government had not yet released funds. The first bill for the first quarter of the contract had only been sent to the government in May Sambo said. “They haven’t released the funding yet ” he said. Sambo said he thought that Nucum would get the money back when he was reimbursed by the government of Guam.

Between May 10 and June 8 the Guam Medical Referral Office had referred seven patients members of PacifiCare Asia Pacific and StayWell Insurance to Inter-Island Services. Bernhart said the Guam Medical Referral Office referred about 75 patients a month to various locations but that summer months were considered heavy season. MBJ