29 Sep 2011

Consensus from Guam conference on need for improvements disabled facilities

3:06 pm on 29 September 2011

The president of Guam's Medical Association is calling for improved health care facilities for people with disabilities.

Dr Thomas Shieh says although 30,000 of the estimated 160,000-strong population live with emotional, intellectual or physical disability there's a lack of sensitivity within the health profession to their needs.

He says the consensus from the territory's recent Disability Health Conference was that not all facilities on Guam are disability-friendly.

"We need to make sure our bathrooms have bars and the elevation of the toilet is easy accessible for people with disability and if you don't have power beds, sometime you may want to go ahead and invest in a power bed so people with disability can have better access onto the bed. Even ramps, you need to make sure you create some ramps so they can come in, the doors of your office need to be wide enough so people with wheelchairs can come in."

Dr Thomas Shieh says facilities will have to be upgraded when the updated Americans with Disabilities Act comes into effect next March.