is it worth the gamble?

Patient Access to Healthcare in Hawaii is in Crisis and growing worse every year. The same old band aid solutions aren’t going to fix it anymore.

WHO... (are we?)

We are a non-profit coalition of patients and concerned physicians who have experienced reduced access to healthcare by the loss of trusted physicians or the unavailability of a specialist at a time of need. Our goal is to educate the public about this growing crisis.

WHY... (are we speaking out?)

Because there are few replacements for the many doctors who are leaving due to high costs of living and doing business in Hawaii, escalating costs of malpractice insurance, low reimbursements and rising rate of malpractice suits judged to be ‘without merit’.

WHAT... (is this about?)

Limited access to care has resulted in loss of life and limb. Delays in diagnoses result in more serious illnesses. Delays in treatment result in complications and extended recovery times. All of which frequently result in escalated and unreimbursed medical expenses.

WHERE... (is this happening?)

There are acute shortages of physicians on every island. Neighbor Islands are severely impacted resulting in many patients having to travel to Oahu for treatment. Most gravely affected specialties are Ob/Gyn, Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Neurology and Gastroenterology.

WHEN... (do we need to take action?)

We must act NOW! Our voices must be heard and our questions answered. Currently proposed national healthcare solutions will do NOTHING for you with fewer doctors serving more people. 46% of physicians recently polled say they will retire if government run healthcare is imposed.

Access to insurance does not guarantee access to care. RATIONING occurs when demand for a service exceeds the supply available. Managed rationing occurs when someone else determines what treatments you can receive.

HOW... (do we do this?)

Become educated about this healthcare crisis. Share this information with family and friends. Lobby the Legislature to make Hawaii more appealing to potential physicians through increased reimbursement and medical tort reform. Lobby our US Senators and Congresspersons to demand fair Federal compensation for Hawaii.

Sign up to be kept informed by Save Our Doctors. Participate. Volunteer. Donate to support the effort.

Patient Access to Healthcare in Hawaii grows worse every year

Limited access to care has resulted in loss of life and limb. Delays in diagnoses may result in more serious illnesses. Delays in treatment may result in complications and extended recovery times. All of which frequently result in increased and unreimbursed medical expenses.

Doctors are leaving Hawaii at an alarming rate

There are few replacements for the many doctors who are leaving Hawaii due to escalating costs of malpractice insurance, low reimbursements and the rising rate of malpractice suits judged to be ‘without merit’.

As the number of doctors decreases, physician workloads increase drastically for those remaining. Patient consequences can be extended wait times for appointments and treatments. Physician consequences can be social, psychological and physical overload; reduced time with family, increased stress.

Most impacted specialties:

Obstetrics/Gynecology, Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Gastroenterology and ER physicians.

Neighbor Islands are critically impacted by this exodus

There are severe shortages of physicians on every island. Neighbor Islands are most impacted when many patients must travel to Oahu or Mainland for treatment.

Off-Island travel and lodging expenses (often unreimbursed) are added to healthcare costs. Extended time to treatment puts patient at greater risk of complications and extended recovery times.

YOU are paying the price!

High cost of malpractice insurance and low reimbursement rates force doctors to practice defensive medicine by ordering maximum number of tests to protect themselves against lawsuits. "Thus, the average American family pays an additional $1,700 to $2,000 per year in healthcare costs simply to cover the costs of defensive medicine". In Florida, for every baby born, $2,000 of the delivery charge goes to pay the cost of the medical liability premium.

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery NOW article, November 2008, Vol 2, Number 11, pg. 41 Medical Liability Reform

Medical Liability Reform

During this severe economic downturn, medical tort reform is an option that places no burden on the taxpayer. There are well-documented successes and increased numbers of doctors coming into states that have enacted these reforms.

Your inability to see a doctor when and where you need to is HEALTHCARE RATIONING

Past efforts to stop this growing crisis through compromise tort reform and compensation bills have been consistently blocked by special interests.

The Hawaii State Legislature holds the key.

send a message

Please contact the following Senators and let them know that they need to pass medical tort reform this year to ensure access to quality health care. It does not cost tax payers any money and has been shown to stimulate the economy in states such as Texas and Mississippi, which passed tort reform. It also benefits the person injured from a mistake since the lawyers will take less of the award and with caps on damages awarded for pain and suffering, both sides can agree on economic damages which results in the case being settled quickly (1 year compared to 7 years) without a trial and the associated additional expenses.

Senator Colleen Hanabusa
Senate President
senhanabusa@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-7793 phone, 586-7797 fax

Senator David Ige
Senate Health Chair, CPC, Vice Chair
sendige@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-6230 phone, 586-6231 fax

Senator Rosalyn Baker
Senate CPC (Commerce & Consumer Protection) Chair
senbaker@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-6070 phone, 586-6071 fax

Senator Brian Taniguchi
Senate Judiciary, Chair
sentaniguchi@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-6460 phone, 586-6461 fax

Senator Dwight Takamine
Senate Judiciary, Vice Chair
sentakamine@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-7335 phone, 586-7339 fax

Senator Robert Bunda
senbunda@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-6090 phone, 586-6091 fax 

Senator Kalani English
senenglish@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-7225 phone, 587-7230 fax

Senator Carol Fukunaga
senfukunaga@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-6890 phone, 586-6899 fax

Senator Mike Gabbard
sengabbard@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-6830 phone, 586-6679 fax

Senator Brickwood Galuteria
sengaluteria@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-6740 phone, 586-6829 fax

Senator Clayton Hee
senhee@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-7330 phone, 586-7334 fax

Senator Gary Hooser
Kauai
senhooser@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-6030 phone, 586-6031 fax

Senator Les Ihara
senihara@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-6250 phone, 586-6251 fax

Senator Michelle Kidani
senkidani@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-7100 phone, 586-7109 fax

Senator Donna Mercado Kim
senkim@capitol.hawaii.gov
587-7200 phone, 587-7205 fax

Senator Russel Kokubun
senkokubun@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-6760 phone, 586-6689 fax

Senator Clarence Nishihara
sennishihara@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-6970 phone, 586-6879 fax

Senator Norman Sakamoto
sensakamoto@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-8585 phone, 586-8588 fax

Senator Jill Tokuda
sentokuda@capitol.hawaii.gov
587-7215 phone, 587-7220 fax

Senator Shan Tsutsui
sentsutsui@capitol.hawaii.gov
586-7344 phone, 586-7348 fax