New Ambulance Unit Created For Ewa Beach
By SHANNON ROSENBERG
Members of the state House and Senate health committees have responded to the closure of Hawaii Medical Center hospitals by installing a new Ewa Beach ambulance unit, which the community welcomed July 9 with a blessing ceremony.
HMC West, which closed late last year along with HMC East, was the only emergency facility for many West Oahu communities.
Rep. Kymberly Pine (Ewa Beach, Iroquois Point, Puuloa), who served on the House Health Committee, stated that the new ambulance unit will ensure the safety of the Ewa Beach community.
“The closure of the Hawaii Medical Center had a substantial impact on the Leeward Coast,” Pine said. “This new ambulance unit provides the crisis medical attention that our community needs.”
One million dollars was allocated to fund new ambulance service to Ewa Beach and Nanakuli. The House and Senate Health committees also passed additional legislation that allocated $2 million to Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center and $1.25 million to Wahiawa General Hospital so that they can expand and upgrade their emergency departments.
The Legislature also set aside funds that will be used to turn HMC East into a long-term care facility, and emergency funds that will be used to save the organ transplant program.
Patricia Dukes, chief of city Emergency Medical Services, said the new ambulance unit has been a welcome relief and great resource for the Ewa area.
“Because of the new unit, Ewa can take care of their communities’ patients, which relieves the neighboring communities’ units, allowing for them to be more efficient in taking care of their own patients,” said Dukes.