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No longer any cardiac surgeons on island?

Maui residents need to be made aware that there are no longer any cardiac or thoracic surgeons on the island.

The last one I am aware of, Dr. Dorheim, was raided by Kaiser recruiters to relocate to Oahu several months ago. Dr. Drood left nearly a year ago when negotiations fell through with Kaiser. I was fortunate to have each of their services (implant of a pacemaker by Dr. Drood and bypass surgery by Dr. Dorheim) before their departures, but now anyone requiring similar procedures has no other recourse but to go to Oahu or the Mainland — assuming their condition allows them to survive long enough to make the trip.

Kaiser Permanente, charged with managing Maui Memorial Medical Center for the benefit of the island’s residents, has instead decimated the hospital’s cardiology department and cardiac health care on Maui.

Nevertheless, the hospital continues to falsely represent on its website as having cardiac surgeons on its staff providing the following procedures, among others: Coronary artery bypass; complex heart valve repairs; surgery for adult congenital heart disease; surgery for cardiac tumors; thoracic and cardiovascular critical care; thoracic procedures, including lung and esophageal; and heart rhythm devices, such as ICD/defibrillator.

Is this the improved health care services we expected and were promised when Kaiser was hired to manage Maui Memorial Medical Center? I think not, and it’s time the public is made aware of the dire situation and the impact on the many aging retirees on the island who may require cardiac intervention.

Bennett Arnberger

Kihei

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