Community Viewpoint: Maui Hospital Transfer Travesty – Lives Will Be Lost

Photo: AHL Design
As a resident of Maui, I am appalled at the travesty that is occurring at Maui Memorial Medical Center – the only acute-care hospital serving the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai.

The inability of our government leaders and the unions to come to an agreement about the future of healthcare on Maui is staggering.

For many years, our only hospital has struggled with being underfunded by the State. Now, when a solution has been presented, the ability to close the deal is stalled, roadblocked and obstructed in every way.

Money is not the only issue. Because of the future uncertainty, numerous lawsuits and months of turmoil over this problem, it is virtually impossible to recruit desperately needed physicians and nurses. The remaining hospital staff members are doing their very best to ensure quality care for patients. But with 400 position vacancies, this situation will surely come to its breaking point very soon.

Kaiser is not the first organization that has been interested in partnering with MMMC, but surely they will be the last after this dismal representation by our government and unions.

The people of Maui should stand for this no longer. This matter needs to be settled now. Closing hospital services and flying patients to Oahu is unacceptable. Why are matters of life and death not taking precedence over every other issue facing the State at this time? It has been heartbreaking and frightening to realize that the Oahu leaders in charge of these negotiations do not care about whether people live or die on Maui.

Trust in our government and in the goodwill of the unions has been lost, and may not be recovered.

Make no mistake – lives will be lost. The sad fact remains that the political dysfunction in our State is harming an entire community. Maui lives matter!

Lisa Varde, CFRE

Lisa Varde, has served as the Executive Director of the Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation since 2012. The MMMC Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving healthcare on Maui by supporting the needs of Maui Memorial Medical Center. For more information visit

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