Press Statement: Kaiser’s Broken Promise

UNITEHERE! Local 5 and
Hawaii Nurses & Healthcare Professionals

For immediate release: September 18, 2020

Media Contacts:
Bryant de Venecia
Cell Phone: (808) 546-0024

Kaiser’s Broken Promise

When Kaiser took over Maui Memorial Hospital in 2016, Kaiser promised to improve continuity of care and reduce wait times for Maui residents’ health care.

Kaiser is breaking that promise.

Kaiser announced last week that they will close the Gastrointestinal and Ambulatory Surgery services at their Wailuku Clinic. This plan will remove several operating rooms from Maui’s health care system and put new load on the operating rooms at MMMC.
Our members at Wailuku Clinic are of course devastated by the loss of their jobs at a time that Maui is experiencing its highest unemployment rates in memory, and when experienced health care workers remain crucial to rebuilding the health and safety of our community during this pandemic. But we are equally concerned for our patients and Maui’s health.

Kaiser’s plan to shut down services at Wailuku Clinic raises obvious questions about how this move will affect the waiting time for patient procedures and treatment. Making patients move to a different facility, and receive treatment from different care provider teams, raises obvious questions about the continuity of care for Maui people.

All of Maui’s population will be affected by this move, as Kaiser patients will now have to join the patients already seeking care at the only hospital in the island. Hawaii taxpayers will have concerns as well–MMMC receives millions of dollars a year in state tax dollars.

We call for Kaiser to conduct a full, public discussion to explore the many consequences of Kaiser’s move before a final decision in this matter is reached.