Monday, February 4, 2008

Proposed pilot program may already exist, violent crime witnesses could get compensation

HB 2063
A measure that could save the lives of heart attack victims has been deferred until the end of the week so that the Committee on Health can confirm that the bill would not be repeating work currently in progress on Oahu.

Lawmakers proposed legislation (HB 2063) to equip ambulances en route to hospitals with the capability to wirelessly transfer electrocardiogram (ECG) data to emergency rooms. The Department of Health would be required to establish a 2-year pilot program on Oahu. Electrocardiograms measure the electrical activity of the heart and can show signs of damage to the heart muscle as it is occurring.

A wireless transmission system in North Carolina has reportedly reduced the time for patients to receive appropriate lifesaving treatment by more than one hour compared to the national average. Cardiac patients are getting treatment in about 30 minutes from arriving to the emergency room rather than the national average of nearly two hours.

HB 3244
Witnesses and survivors of cases involving death or violent crimes, and young and elderly witnesses may be able to claim criminal injuries compensation for mental health services if HB 3244 is passed by the House Judiciary and Finance Committees.

The Committee on Health passed HB 3244 without amendments today.

Testifiers mentioned the witnesses of the terrible crimes against Cyrus Belt and Janel Tupuola, and noted that although this tragic event greatly affected them emotionally, they would not be able to receive compensation for mental health services. Some witnesses may have access to services through their health plans, but other may not have the access or the means of paying for such services.

No comments: