Monday, August 18, 2008

HHSC briefings wrap up on Kauai today

Tropic Thunder II? No, it's the House Finance and Senate Ways and Means committees going over to hold their last in a series of informational briefings in Lihue, Kauai on the financial difficulties faced by our public hospital system network, the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC).

Here's the notice in today's Kauai Garden Island. The meeting starts at 5 p.m. at Kauai High School.

Meanwhile, the joint committee was in Kailua-Kona on Thursday, and the West Hawaii Today filed this report. It focuses on the recent layoff of 55 workers at Kona Community Hospital. The primary question is whether this layoff constituted a substantial reduction in services to the community. If so, the hospital should have received prior legislative approval before proceeding with the layoff. According to hospital interim CEO Earl Greenia, it did not "because the emergency room would still operate, and nurses could pick up the tasks the EMTs performed."

The newspaper reports that community residents who provided testimony, "recounted experiences they or family members had with the EMTs and decried the HHSC management as "top heavy" and overpaid."

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