East Hawaii News

Meeting Next Week to Focus on Healthcare in Ka`u

July 7, 2014, 3:56 PM HST
* Updated July 7, 4:14 PM
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Healthcare in the Ka`u District will be the topic of discussion at a meeting being held next week at Ka`u Hospital.

The annual meeting is organized by the East Hawaii Regional Board of Directors for the Hawaii Health Systems Corp., the public organization that runs Hawaii’s state hospitals.

An overview of Ka`u Hospital and its rural health clinic will be presented before the floor is opened to comments and suggestions about the provision of healthcare in the rural district.

Island residents are invited to attend the meeting, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 19.

“We are seeking community input and assistance to develop plans in order to improve healthcare in East Hawaii,” said Gary Yoshiyama, chair of the East Hawaii Regional Board of HHSC. “With our anticipated healthcare reform changes, it is critical that we have dialogue with all stakeholders.”

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State hospital officials are currently formulating plans to cope with a $48 million budget shortfall, with the responsibility for cutting $9 million of that falling on HHSC’s East Hawaii Region.

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That region includes Ka`u Hospital, Hilo Medical Center, Hale Ho`ola Hamakua in Hnoka`a and 10 outpatient clinics. Those facilities, along with East Hawaii Region affiliate the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, combine for a total of 468 beds and more than 1,250 employees and 250 physicians.

For more information, call Administration Secretary Terry Larson at 932-3103.

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