Local Connection: Maui Hospitals Delay - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Maui Hospitals Delay

Last week's departure of Wes Lo as CEO of the Maui Medical Center was the latest setback in the process of turning three Maui county hospitals over to Kaiser.

The protracted battle over how to transition unionized state workers into private sector management is looking more and more like a war of attrition against the deal.

Unions UPW and HGEA have used all their traditional tactics – rallying support at the legislature…going to court…demanding extensive negotiation, and just plain stalling.  The governor doesn't seem capable of either managing or satisfying the unions.  Some also believe he is excluding key players from the process, especially those from Maui. 

Meanwhile, with their futures unclear the CEO, doctors, nurses and other staff are leaving and replacements are reluctant to be hired.  The facilities now can't serve all the people who need care.

When it was first announced, it sounded like the Governor had it all worked out.  And it should have been.  A major privatization, with people's health at stake, should not have been started without written and approved agreements with these unions. 

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