HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lt. Gov. Josh Green is proposing free medical care for thousands of newly-unemployed people, and is hoping to get it up and running soon as part of the state’s emergency response.
He envisions a temporary clinic that would provide free basic care, like what you would go see your doctor for.
It would not conduct COVID-19 testing.
Green estimates there are at least 50,000 people who are in limbo — out of work and with no health insurance. That’s a shock to a state that’s typically had a very low rate of people who are uninsured.
He says he hopes to know if the project’s a go early next week.
“A lot of people have basic health care needs. And we don’t want them to have to spend a couple hundred dollars at an urgent care clinic if they don’t have insurance right now,” said Green.
The clinic would operate for up to 60 days.
Green says he’s in talks with the John A Burns School of Medicine as a possible site.
Providers would include members of the state’s volunteer health corps. Green says he would also like to use resources provided by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.
“We could possibly use one of their pop-up tents that are small facilities with 15-20 beds so we could quickly see people," he said. "They have curtains, real low key, low impact, low tech. But they’re nice stable settings.”
If the state passes on the plan, Green says he’ll try launching something with the help of donors and volunteers.