Why I'm Running: Health Care and Community Hospitals
I believe it is a fundamental right of every resident to have access to high quality emergency medical services. The closure of Hawaii Medical Center-West earlier this year was a tremendous disappointment to many Leeward residents and employees who relied on the locally provided health care and emergency services for both medical attention and jobs.
Immediately following its surprise closure, my main priority as State Representative was to provide accurate information to the community to ensure that anyone in need of medical attention would be able to receive it. My office gathered healthcare experts from across Oahu to host an informative town hall meeting open to all Leeward Coast residents. I deeply and sincerely thank the many hardworking doctors and city employees from the Department of Emergency Management who have been so dedicated to permanently fill the void left by HMC-West.
Also soon following the closure, members of the House and Senate Health Committees acted swiftly to pass legislative bills to address the closure including allocating $1 million for an additional Ewa Beach and Nanakuli ambulance services. The committee allocated $2 million to Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center and $1.25 million to Wahiawa General Hospital to expand and upgrade emergency departments. My colleagues and I also allocated funds to turn HMC East into a long-term care facility and immediately allocated emergency funds to save the organ transplant program. It was truly an honor to be a part of those solutions.
We recently celebrated the opening of the new Ewa Beach Ambulance Unit located at Ewa Villages Golf Course. The new unit will ensure that the people of the Leeward Coast receive timely emergency medical attention and is a step in the right direction to fully restored medical services on the Leeward Coast.
Our top priority now is to provide Queen's Medical Center and the sisters of St. Francis all the tools necessary to reopen the hospital on the West Coast as soon as possible. As City Councilwoman, I will continue my work with stakeholders to expedite the process to reopen the former HMC location because nothing is more important than the health and safety of our community.
Rep. Kymberly Pine