HMC winding down operations after deal falls through

Published On: Dec 15 2011 11:01:30 PM HST   Updated On: Dec 16 2011 06:32:36 AM HST

Hawaii Medical Center in Honolulu and Ewa has begun winding down its operations after a potential deal to buy the hospitals fell through, according to a spokesperson with the St. Francis Healthcare System.

About 990 people are employees at the hospitals.

"I'm starting to cry now. I just recently graduated and I'm a little sad because I like this location,"said HMC's West X-ray technician Raquel Ongos.

There is no timetable for the closure of the hospitals but it is expected to close within the next four weeks.

"This is the only hospital thats on the westside. What's going to happen to all the folks down in Waianae, they can't drive to Pali Momi, thats kind of riduclous. What about the ambulances?," said Ewa resident Bambi Bjugstad.

HMC East and West are no longer accepting ambulances.

Hawaii Medical Center had been looking for a buyer since declaring bankruptcy last summer.

It operated the former St. Francis hospitals in Ewa and Liliha and owes the St. Francis Healthcare System more than $39 million.

St. Francis filed papers this week to block the sale of the hospitals to Prime Healthcare Services for $25 million.

St. Francis said under terms of the proposed sale it would get less than 30 percent of what it is owed.

Sister Agnelle Ching, OSF, chief executive officer of St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii, released this statement:

"We respect Hawaii Medical Center?s decision to close its two hospitals. The details and timeline of the wind down process are still being finalized."

"We want to make sure the safety and well-being of their patients remain priorities in the wind down process, and St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii has offered to help Hawaii Medical Center?s wind down efforts."

State Representative Kymberly Pine, who represents Iroquois Point, Ewa Beach and Puuloa, responded to today's news.

"Today is a very sad day for the residents of the Leeward Coast. Many people work at the hospital and use their facilities," said Pine. "We will do everything that we can to ensure that the impact on our community is minimal. We will ensure that unemployment benefits are immediately extended to those that will lose their jobs."

Pine continued, "On behalf of all the residents of the Leeward Coast, I sincerely thank the people of the St. Francis Healthcare System for all the care they?ve given our community over the years, most importantly the care they have provided to lower income residents."

"This is a devastating blow to the people of the Leeward Coast who will no longer have timely access to emergency health care that could save lives," said Pine.

"We'll no longer have the resources of the hospital type care," said leeward resident Nino Camilo.


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