In just two days, 48 seconds of PA James Winkler talking about the lack of doctors on Kauai has logged almost 610,000 views
Video clip from Institute forum on doctor shortage goes viral
from Grassroot Institute, October, 2022
Hawaii is in big trouble when it comes to its healthcare capacity, according to three panelists who participated last week in forums on Maui, Oahu and Hawaii island about Hawaii’s statewide doctor shortage.
The events were sponsored by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii and featured Drs. Scott Grosskreutz and Elizabeth Ignacio and certified physician assistant James Winkler.
The forums were enthusiastically received by attendees — and even more so on social media. About 100 people attended the three in-person events, but three short videos on the social media site TikTok have now logged almost 630,000 views, with many of the thousands of comments coming from doctors explaining why they moved away or will not practice here to begin with.
At the Oahu event, Winkler, founder of the Kauai Community Health Alliance, detailed the crisis on Kauai:
“We have no endocrinologist, we have no outpatient neurologist, we have no oncologist. We don't have a psychiatrist on our island. We have no geriatrics. We have no palliative care medicine. Our ophthalmologist won't see Quest patients. I just had a patient with senile macular degeneration and diabetes. I tried to get them into an ophthalmologist, and they told me, ‘Send this person to Costco.’”
Reporting on the Hawaii island event, journalist Grant Phillips noted in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald that, “Hawaii island is short roughly 300 physicians, and statewide, that number is estimated to be well over 1,000.”
He quoted panelist Grosskreutz, Hawaii island radiologist and founder of the Hawaii Physician Shortage Crisis Task Force: "Our health care workers in general are understaffed, they're overworked and they're aging out. It's going to really take the general public and the community to lobby for these things to get them passed this session.”
Specifically, Grosskreutz was referring to remedies such as higher Medicare reimbursement for Hawaii doctors and exempting group and private practice physicians from the state general excise tax.
"One of the things we can do here to really help is pass GET reform," Grosskreutz said. "We've had a number of candidates from both parties that are supportive of the idea.”
To see a video of the Oahu presentation, featuring Grosskreutz and Winkler, go here. To read the full Hawaii Tribune-Herald report on the Hawaii island event, go here. To see the three TikTok videos, go here, here and here.