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Friday, July 7, 2006
Baldwin High School

Councilmembers and Members of the Community:

I appreciate the opportunity to present a statement on behalf of Governor Linda Lingle in support of the Application for a Certificate of Need for Malulani Health and Medical Center.

The Governor supports this project, recognizing that it addresses a long-standing need for more health care services in Maui County. 

Maui is the only major island without at least two acute care hospitals.  Maui is projected to grow in population and experience a significant number of visitors each year.  It is imperative that state-of-the-art services be available to our residents and visitors when they need medical care.

The ability of the State to build a new hospital on Maui is limited, despite the good economy and a healthy State budget surplus.  There continues to be significant demands on the State budget for many worthwhile projects on all islands.

We are pleased that a consortium of the medical community on Maui along with a large private hospital company called Triad has partnered to build a new facility.

This facility can be a win-win for the community and the State.  The fact that this facility will be built does not mean that the State will not continue to support Maui Memorial Medical Center.

We believe Maui Memorial and Malulani can complement each other and build on each facility's strengths.  In effect, Maui Memorial and Malulani will be two hospitals that can provide back-up health care capabilities for each other, a critical need when you are an island state in the middle of the Pacific. 

The Governor commends Maui Memorial Medical Center for the medical care it has provided to the community over the decades.  The staff and management talent of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation turned an ailing State hospital around and we can all be grateful for this accomplishment.

Finally, it should be noted that both hospitals will have an obligation to care for all members of the community, including those who can least help themselves.  This includes people on public assistance, the elderly on fixed incomes, and those covered by federal health insurance programs.  We expect Malulani to do its share of community health outreach and support.

The Governor and her staff respect the role of this Subarea Health Planning Council and the job you must do.  We also respect the rigors of the Certificate of Need process.  There are many people here today who can address the technical aspects the Certificate of Need may raise.

On behalf of the citizens of the State, Maui County, and as someone who believes the State must continue to improve access and quality of care for all, Governor Lingle appreciates the opportunity to express her support for the Malulani Project.

In closing, she extends a special mahalo to Dr. Ronald Kwon for his efforts and for getting the project to this important step in the process to bring a new hospital to the County of Maui.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak.

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