By Janelle Guerrero-Miguel
HNN Summer Intern
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The highly-anticipated West Maui Hospital and Medical Center held its ground breaking ceremony on Monday.
The facilities will include a 25-bed hospital with a 24-hour emergency room, a nursing facility and assisted living quarters. Long-term plans also include a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center.
"The facility will totally change the equation for health care on the west side," said Lahaina resident Bob Pure. "This new hospital will supplement and enhance the excellent urgent care facilities we already have and bring available health care to a new and higher level."
The facility will meet the health and safety needs of over 65,000 people who live, work, or visit West Maui. It takes 15-60 minutes to drive to the nearest hospital depending on traffic.
"For residents and visitors, access to immediate critical care in Lahaina could make the difference between life and death – especially for victims of stroke, heart attack, or trauma," said Brian Hoyle, President of Newport Hospital Corporation, developer of the project.
It will be the first hospital built on the island since 1952.
The project is expected to be completed in late 2018 at an estimated cost of $70 million.