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Your Views for June 13

Bring urologist back

Why administrators at Hawaii Health Systems Corp., the states’s public hospital system, seem incapable of more effectively containing costs while still delivering quality health care is beyond the expertise of this writer.

This continuing and crippling fiscal crisis is tragic for Hawaii’s citizens.

Is the system overly top-heavy with administrators, much like our state educational system?

Are there vested interests that impede more efficient operation of the system?

I don’t know.

But I do know this: The decision (Tribune-Herald, June 5) to terminate the position of Hilo Medical Center’s most experienced urologist — Dr. Lyric Santiago — represents a monumental disservice to the Big Island community.

HMC’s decision does not reflect the elimination of some arguably unnecessary exotic medical specialist one might expect to have to travel to Honolulu to see.

No, we’re talking about a physician providing an essential medical service to the Big Island community.

Dr. Santiago has practiced in Hilo for the past seven years. She and her husband, also a practicing physician in Hilo, embraced the Big Island and made it their home.

The decision by HMC to eliminate her position will probably result in the Big Island community losing not just one but two excellent physicians, as the couple will very possibly need to relocate to a place where both can find gainful employment.

Finally, the only remaining practicing urologist in Hilo is already too overloaded with patients, meaning many residents will now have to travel to Honolulu for basic urological treatment.

Knowing how very difficult it is to attract physicians to rural areas such as the Big Island only underscores the foolishness and shortsightedness of this particular cost-cutting measure.

I strongly urge others to join me in encouraging HMC to reconsider its decision.

Roger Meeker


We write the checks

Who has control over the Salary Commission? They are not an elected group. They issue their recommendations, and they go in to effect.

This commission does not write the checks. The taxpayers write the checks.

We should have the final say as to who gets paid what, not an appointed group of people.

Bob Dukat



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