Governor David Ige was on Maui last week to sign a historic bill about local health care. The measure will allow Maui's three public hospitals to partner with a private healthcare provider. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.
Lawmakers were finally able to agree on a bill this session that hospital administrators say will keep Maui's public hospitals on par with private providers. Governor David Ige signed it into law at Maui Memorial Medical Center, the island's only acute-care hospital. Noting that there is still “Much more work to do,” the governor said a public-private partnership is necessary for Maui's hospitals in order to keep up with rapid changes in the healthcare industry. What comes next is selecting an appropriate suitor and hashing out details of the partnership. Ige says he hopes to do both by the end of this year.
Under the law, all current hospital employees will be protected for at least six months after the partnership is forged. So far, Hawaii Pacific Health and Kaiser Permanente are the only two providers that have expressed interest in partnering with Maui Memorial. Others may still enter the picture as the state begins soliciting proposals in coming months. Maui Memorial is the largest public hospital in the state.