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Thursday, April 9, 2009
AIHM: 2009 Legislative Session Producing Few Positive Results for Healthcare Reform
By Jan Shields RN @ 6:27 PM :: 8828 Views :: Kauai County, DHHL, Energy, Environment

by Jan Shields, Association for Improved Healthcare on Maui

As usual, the state legislative session has been disappointing thus far, to say the least. It appears that Senator Ige and Senator Baker and Representative Yamane are not interested in Maui's healthcare problems.

Still, I want to compliment and thank all of you that wrote letters and got involved in the legislative process. We must continue to try to hold our legislators accountable to their constituency. We must not give up.

Maui Memorial Medical Center is trying to break free of the Hawaiian Healthcare Systems Corporation. This should be a no brainer, as Oahu insists Maui Memorial Medical Center is not the cash cow and instead a drain on the state. If this is the truth, then why is there any fight to keep MMMC in the state system at all?

The legislature is still struggling with medical tort reform legislation. When all the doctors leave Hawaii, who will be there to take care of us? Thanks to Save Our Doctors organization for all their hard work trying to forward tort reform this session.

I wonder if the legislators would consider tort reform more urgent if every time they made a mistake they could be sued for millions of dollars for pain and suffering. They would be sued quite a bit for not acting in a timely manner.

Douglas Suhm from Tacoma, Washington and Dr. David Teuscher from Texas were in Oahu testifying about tort reform and Senators Baker and Ige were disrespectful enough to stand up and walk out of the room. Nice aloha spirit, I'm impressed.

It is becoming sadly evident that the legislature will not pass any meaningful legislation that will save us from this very scary medical mess they have created for us in Hawaii, especially the outer islands.

Maui is the worst, with only one hospital which doesn't have nearly enough beds or services.

The West Maui Hospital will bring much needed relief to one portion of our island, but does not solve the major problem this community faces.

The course of action remains to bring in a hospital that is willing to apply for a Certificate of Need. It is regrettable that we have to waste the time and money that it takes to do this.

Hopefully we get it done and built before the collapse of the current system. It sure would be nice if the powers that be would see that the jobs this would create are needed immediately and let us skip the lengthy Certificate of Need process due to the current economic conditions here on Maui. We will keep our investigator at the Department of Justice informed of our progress.

We plan to build a full replacement hospital, with all services. We would like to have the incoming hospital purchase Maui Memorial Medical Center or see it stay in business as a facility with different non acute services. We are talking to several hospitals, looking for a good fit for Maui.

Jan Shields L.V.T., B.S.N., R.N.C.-NIC is the Executive Director of the Association for Improved Healthcare on Maui



Malulani Foundation to Begin Work
Recently Malulani Foundation has been formed under the direction of a new Board and Officers.  The purpose of this organization  will be to work towards obtaining a new, state of the art, 350 bed hospital for this island.  The Board wishes to retain the name of Malulani in honor of the work of Dr. Kwon and his many supporters.  The original Malulani was denyed a Certificate of Need in 2007.
Early work of the Foundation will be to acquire land for the hospital, find a viable hospital partner who is willing to take on the CON Process and organize the financing.   AIHM will commence its work next year during the legislative session keeping a watchful eye on our  politicians and keeping you abreast of healthcare legislation that effects our future.


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