Attend the HHSC meeting
April 24, 2015
The Maui News
We would urge everyone to attend Tuesday evening's public meeting of the Maui Region of Hawaii Health Systems Corp.
The topic is the budget cut facing Maui Memorial Medical Center in fiscal year 2016. MMMC must decide what services will be slashed as it faces a $28 million shortfall.
The meeting is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Puu Kukui Elementary School in Wailuku.
Wesley Lo, chief executive officer of the Maui Region, warned that the cuts would affect every resident and visitor on Maui. Lo had earlier stated the shortfall might cause a reduction in services ranging from oncology, cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology to surgical and intensive-care units.
The situation is looking particularly dire after Gov. David Ige stepped in Tuesday and asked the House to cancel a vote on a bill already approved by the state Senate that would have allowed the Maui Region to seek out a private nonprofit partner. Ige asked the Legislature to send the measure to a conference committee to address unspecified concerns he had with the bill.
We worry that the bill might get stuck (and die) in the conference committee as it did last year. Or, just as bad, that a poison pill clause to appease unions could be inserted in the bill that would drive away potential partners.
In any event, the public and Lo have to act on the assumption that the current budget numbers will govern 2016 and plan for them. Tuesday's meeting will give the public a chance to hear the plans and give input.
It is also a chance to show the governor and the Legislature how important Maui Memorial is to our community.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.