PHOTOS: Ige Signs Maui Healthcare Reform Bill for Public-Private Partnership
By Maui Now Staff
Governor David Ige today signed House Bill 1075 in law during a bill signing ceremony at the Maui Memorial Medical Center in Wailuku. The bill authorizes the Maui Region of the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation to enter into negotiations for a public-private operational and management agreement. The partnership would be subject to approval by the Governor, the HHSC and the Maui region Board of Directors.
Among those in attendance were Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, key House and Senate leaders, Maui Region and HHSC board members and community supporters.
“This bill gives us an historic opportunity to transform the delivery of healthcare to the people of Maui. We have a lot of work to do to ensure the successful implementation of this new law,” said Ige in a press release update.
The governor said the state will work collaboratively with the Maui Region Board and the HHSC to select a private partner and finalize the terms and conditions of this partnership by the end of the year so that implementation can begin in 2016.
“We are committed to working with our dedicated public employees who are key to the successful implementation of this policy and central to a smooth transition that is focused on patient care and quality service to the people of Hawai‘i,” Ige said.
“This action was absolutely essential for the people of Maui,” said the Speaker Joseph M. Souki (Kahakuloa, Waihee, Waiehu, Puuohala, Wailuku, Waikapū) who introduced the bill. “The financial situation for Maui Memorial was not sustainable for the short or long run, and what we are doing today will open the doors for a vital public-private partnership to keep Maui’s hospitals open and to most importantly provide the appropriate and quality care for the people of Maui County.”
Senate Majority Leader, Senator J. Kalani English (East and Upcountry Maui, Lāna‘i, Moloka‘i) also commented saying, “On behalf of myself and the two honorable Senators from Maui, we hope, with the signing of this important legislation, quality health care will no longer be an uncertainty in the future for those who call Maui home. We are confident that negotiations will diligently move forward the process of establishing a public-private partnership that will build a stronger health care system and ensure residents will continue to receive the health care services they need and deserve.”
Linda Rosen, M.D., HHSC chief executive officer said that with the enactment of HB 1075, the HHSC looks forward to eventually reducing the amount of taxpayer funds subsidizing healthcare delivery in the state. “Through the assistance of a private partner, the Maui County community can look forward to the stabilization of available health services and the eventual growth of new services,” she said.
State Senators Rosalyn Baker and Gil Keith-Agaran were also on hand for today’s bill signing ceremony. They joined fellow Senator J Kalani English in commenting on the latest development.
Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran (Dist. 5 – Central Maui), Chair of the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee said:
“The signing of this bill is a necessary milestone in our community’s on-going journey to not just preserve our local hospitals but to move all of us– residents, doctors, nurses and hospital staff– forward towards a stronger health care system. I am encouraged by the Governor’s strong interest in working closely with our local hospital administrators and community in moving this process forward quickly.”
Senator Roz Baker (Dist. 6 – South and West Maui), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health said:
“This important law puts the Maui Region of Hawai’i Health Systems Corporation on a positive course to ensure that quality health care continues to be delivered for all who call Maui home and our visitors. Our residents deserve a robust, thriving healthcare system. We trust that the due diligence and negotiations will go forward as expeditiously as possible so there will be minimal disruptions in any of these important services.”
Senate Majority Leader, Senator J Kalani English (Dist. 7 – East and Upcountry Maui, Lāna‘i, Moloka‘i) is currently in Washington, D.C. and was unable to attend the ceremony provided the following comment:
“We hope with the signing of this important legislation, quality health care will no longer be an uncertainty in the future for the residents of Maui. Establishing a public-private partnership we believe will ensure that health service providers are retained and residents will continue to receive the health care they need.”
Maui Memorial Medical Center is Maui’s only full-service, acute medical care facility and is the only hospital outside of O‘ahu that provides a full range of cardiac services, including open-heart surgery and angioplasty.
The Maui region of HHSC serves over 11,000 inpatients and over 45,000 emergency room patients per year, and employs more than 1,500 in the community.