Gov. David Ige signed into law Wednesday House Bill 1075, which authorizes the Maui Region of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) to enter into negotiations for a public-private operational and management agreement, subject to approval by the Governor, the HHSC and the Maui Region Board of Directors.
Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, key House and Senate leaders, Maui Region and HHSC board members and community supporters gathered at Maui Memorial Medical Center for the bill signing ceremony.
“This bill gives us an historic opportunity to transform the delivery of healthcare to the people of Maui. We have a lot of work to do to ensure the successful implementation of this new law,” said Ige.
The governor said the state will work collaboratively with the Maui Region Board and the HHSC to select a private partner and finalize the terms and conditions of this partnership by the end of the year so that implementation can begin in 2016.
“We are committed to working with our dedicated public employees who are key to the successful implementation of this policy and central to a smooth transition that is focused on patient care and quality service to the people of Hawaii,” Ige said.
Ige said the bill is specific to the Maui Region, but overall legislation also provides for public-private partnerships in other regions.
“This action was absolutely essential for the people of Maui,” said the bill’s introducer, Speaker Joseph M. Souki (Kahakuloa, Waihee, Waiehu, Puuohala, Wailuku, Waikapu). “The financial situation for Maui Memorial was not sustainable for the short or long run, and what we are doing today will open the doors for a vital public-private partnership to keep Maui’s hospitals open and to most importantly provide the appropriate and quality care for the people of Maui County.”
Maui Memorial Medical Center is Maui’s only full-service, acute medical care facility and is the only hospital outside of Oahu that provides a full range of cardiac services, including open-heart surgery and angioplasty.
The Maui region of HHSC serves more than 11,000 inpatients and more than 45,000 emergency room patients per year, and employs more than 1,500 people.