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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
The former Hawaii Medical Center West hospital in Ewa Beach closed just before Christmas 2011. The new hospital owned by Queen's is expected to open in another year. But some council members want the doors to open even faster.
The former Hawaii Medical Center West emergency room sits lifeless. Meanwhile the sign out front of the hospital campus breathes new life saying "The Queen's Medical Center West Oahu Coming 2014."
Queen's is investing $70 million on the acquisition and improvements. When it opens the emergency room will be three times bigger than before. There will be more than 400 full time employees and once again emergency care for the Ewa community.
"We want to be out there. The Queen's Medical Center is in its 154th year and we expect at least that much from the Queen's Medical Center West Oahu," said Susan Murray, Queen's Health Systems, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer West Oahu Region.
That's not soon enough for some council members who kept pushing Queen's on the idea of opening a smaller scale emergency room early, but that isn't realistic according to Queen's executives.
"As aggressive as we're moving I really don't think so," said Murray.
The construction company is working double shifts inside the building because it's unoccupied. Plus even a smaller emergency room would take people, equipment, operating rooms, beds and much more.
"To do anything other than that would not provide safe emergency care, or the highest quality we want to provide and would also hold up the ultimate opening of the hospital," said Murray.
"We're still worried that within this year a lot can happen. People are still dying every day and getting in accidents everyday so while Queen's may not want to do this we're still going to try to see if someone would be interested in doing something like that," said Kymberly Marcos Pine, Honolulu City Councilmember, District 1 which includes Ewa Beach.