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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, July 21, 2006

Maui hospital backers must provide hiring plan

Associated Press

A state official who will decide whether to approve a proposed new hospital on Maui told the facility's backers yesterday to submit detailed plans for how they expect to hire doctors and nurses in the island's tight labor market.

Dr. David Sakamoto, administrator of the State Health Planning and Development Agency, spoke after a panel heard testimony on whether Maui needed the proposed Malulani Health and Medical Center.

Critics of the planned $212 million, 150-bed hospital facility told the panel that Malulani wouldn't be able to find enough staff for the hospital. They cited Maui's low unemployment rate as well as a reluctance by professionals living off-island to move to Maui because of its high cost of living.

Backers of Malulani say the hospital would enable more Maui residents to stay on the island for their medical needs.

Opponents say Malulani would lower the quality of care on Maui by siphoning off resources from the island's only existing hospital, Maui Memorial Medical Center.