Critical Issue - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

July 13, 2009

Critical Issue

As debate and lack of debate go on about what to cut or not to cut statewide, the Waianae Health Center said it may be forced to close down for eight hours in the wee hours of Monday mornings unless some additional funding is found by October 1st.  The thought that emergency room needs might be shifted in those hours to Ewa, about 20-30 minutes up the road, is not an option for those in dire need.

Whether it is through planned fundraisers, private philanthropy or some reshuffled state funding, this situation simply cannot be allowed to happen.  On top of the human costs, can you imagine how much the inevitable lawsuits are going to cost the state if someone simply cannot be helped in time.  One of the reasons it's called an "emergancy room" rather than a "casual medical" room or an "I'll get to you when I can" room is the sometimes vital need to deal with health situations immediately.  Ask someone who had to rush to give birth or ask a stroke or heart attack victim what 20-30 minutes of waiting might have meant.  In some instances, they might not be here to answer the question if that had been the only option their specific case.

Something's got to be done for Waianae and any other critical care facilities that might become victims of this economic crunch; or else the facilities might not be the only victims, and that can't be allowed to happen.  Think about it...

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