Doctors Address Hawaii's Health Care System - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Doctors Address Hawaii's Health Care System

Kathy Campbell Kathy Campbell
Dr. Helen Ing Dr. Helen Ing
Dr. Linda Rasmussen Dr. Linda Rasmussen

By Mari-Ela David

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Some medical leaders say our state offers third world health care.

Tuesday evening, Hawaii doctors met to address the critical condition of our health care system.

"My thumb is asleep and it's been asleep for a week and a half," said Kathy Campbell of Kailua.

Kailua resident Kathy Campbell is suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, but is scrounging for a doctor. She says she's lost two of her doctors. One is doctor Helen Ing. She closed her practice after her husband, a cardiologist, was sued.

"It's very, very stressful to go through and I think people don't understand what you go through. A lot of sleepless nights, times when I've only slept 4 hours, which is very unusual and sometimes not at all because of the stress," said Dr. Helen Ing, internal medicine.

Doctor Ing is among others who shared their frustrations at the Hawaii Medical Association Forum.  Many are calling for medical liability reform to weed out frivolous lawsuits.

"These are suits where there are no mistakes made, they're angry about this or that and they go ahead and sue, they want to win the Hawaii lottery," said Dr. Linda Rasmussen, orthopaedic surgeon.

Doctors say, they're not against lawsuits.

"If there's a lawsuit they really should make sure it's a truthful one instead of dragging it out because its just to easy to sue, they have to take some responsibility," says Dr. Ing.

Members of Hawaii's medical community say medical liability reform will help solve the state's doctor shortage, which many say has reached a breaking point.

Medical leaders say another big reason doctors leave Hawaii is they're not paid enough. Some only make about $40,000 a year.

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