Looming cuts at Maui Memorial - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Looming cuts at Maui Memorial

Randy Perreira Randy Perreira
Struggling Maui Memorial Medical Center will eliminate 50 to 75 administrative positions as part of a plan to trim $28 million from its budget.

The Maui board of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. voted to approve the reductions. Heart, surgical and intensive care units could be affected by the cuts.

"I do think it sets us back 20 years in health care services," said Maui Memorial's CEO Wesley Lo.

"Once you start going down this path it's a race to the bottom. You never make up that deficit."

The Health System wants to get a private operator such as Straub's parent, Hawaii Pacific Health, to take over Maui Memorial along with its community hospitals on Lanai and in Kula, Maui. 

But a bill that would allow that is facing hurdles in the legislature.

Maui Memorial said its current model is not sustainable.

"This number continues to grow, unless you structurally change something," Lo said. 

"It's not like it's a one-time event so that's why we're looking to a bill that will allow us to have a private public partnership."

But the head of the union that represents about 800 employees said today's layoff announcement is part of a scare tactic. Randy Perreira, executive director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, said an audit of the Hawaii Health Systems is long overdue.

"It follows a pattern that the MMMC administrators have used for years … when funding is not secure, threaten with service reductions and job cuts," he said.

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