Protecting a treasure

As The Associated Press reported last week, a bill that would allow private health care corporations to assume control of hospitals within the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. is advancing in the Legislature.

Senate Bill 3064 would allow HHSC to turn over control of one or more of its hospitals to a private nonprofit. The state House Finance Committee unanimously passed the bill last week.

Maui Memorial Medical Center is one of those hospitals within HHSC that may be affected by the bill.

The Legislature would have to approve any partnership that was proposed as a result of the bill.

Recent interactions with MMMC have reinforced in our mind what a treasured part of the community the hospital is. Caring and competent professionals took care of a loved one first in the emergency room, then in the general hospital itself.

The hospital has made tremendous strides in the last few years. New capabilities in cardiac and vascular services are invaluable to our community. The new, redesigned emergency room is beautiful and an air of pride and proficiency pervades it.

It is too bad that HHSC faces huge losses that demand a change in structure. The move to a partnership with a private nonprofit is an effort to save money through efficiencies and savings from bulk purchasing.

We’re certain that if the bill passes, great care will be taken in the selection of a partner. The goal is to make sure that MMMC not only endures but thrives – and that the expansion of services continues.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.