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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             November 17, 2006

Release No. M-119-06





            Mayor Mufi Hannemann today called for establishment of an emergency care center to continue emergency medical service for Oahu’s North Shore community after Kahuku Hospital closes on December 31.


            “When the City had discussions with Continental Pacific on its possible acquisition of the Kahuku Villages neighborhood, I urged them to support the community by doing what they could to ensure the viability of Kahuku Hospital,” said Hannemann. “They did, and acquired the Kahuku Hospital site as well as Kahuku Villages. Now that the hospital has decided to close, Continental Pacific is making good on their word by offering to provide the site for an emergency care center, if that can be worked out.


            “The City is not equipped to run a medical facility,” said Hannemann. “What’s needed is for others to step forward with funding and other resources to get such a center established in order to continue serving the community in emergencies.”


            Hannemann said, “Many people and organizations have supported the efforts to keep Kahuku Hospital in business over the years, but the impending shutdown appears inescapable. I have heard from many people in Kahuku and Laie that if the hospital must close, at least there ought to be an emergency room available there.


            “Several people have pointed out that they’d like to see something like the Waianae Comprehensive Health Center, which provides emergency treatment for the entire Leeward Coast,” said Hannemann.


            The City maintains a fulltime ambulance station nearby in Kahuku. The next closest ones are at Kaneohe and Haleiwa, with a part-time response unit in Kaaawa that cannot transport patients.




            Bill Brennan, 527-6928

            Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767


Friday, November 17, 2006

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