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State must sort out issues impacting Maui Memorial

By Staff | Jul 28, 2016

Maui residents can’t tolerate bureaucratic nonsense threatening staffing and services at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Credit the Hawaii Legislature for convening last week and overriding Gov. David Ige’s veto of Senate Bill 2077. Their action preserves the management transfer of three state-run Maui County hospitals to Kaiser Permanente.

“The only way we will be able to stand up for healthcare on Maui, for a restart of the transition and to get us to the point where we have a hospital that is able to deliver the kind of quality, affordable healthcare that is needed in Maui County, is to override this veto,” said West and South Maui Sen. Rosalyn H. Baker.

“I wish there was another path; however, we cannot delay the transition any longer without jeopardizing the health and safety of those on Maui. We have only one acute care hospital on Maui, and we are the second busiest trauma center in the State of Hawaii. The need to continue this process is vital.”

The bill, now a state law, authorizes severance benefits or early retirement incentives for employees who would be directly affected by the impending privatization of state hospital operations on Maui and Lanai.

Last year, state lawmakers authorized the privatization of Maui Memorial, Kula Hospital & Clinic and Lanai Community Hospital, and the state reached an agreement in January 2016 to have Kaiser Permanente operate all three.

Lawmakers were concerned that if they did not override the veto, the transfer would be in jeopardy along with the health and safety of Maui residents and visitors.

“Both the House and Senate must work with the governor to ensure that the residents of Maui are not impacted in the delivery of healthcare and services and to ensure that we treat fairly the state employees as the transition goes forward,” said West and South Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey.

Now it is up to lawmakers to sit down with Ige to see that the privatization deal with Kaiser is realized.