ATG NEWS RELEASE: Attorney General asks 9th Circuit Court to lift injunction against Maui hospitals

Posted on May 23, 2016 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU –   Attorney General Doug Chin filed today a motion in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals asking the Court to lift or modify an order it issued three days ago that temporarily stops activities related to the transition of Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital & Clinic, and Lanai Community Hospital to a new Kaiser entity.

Attorney General Chin explained, “We asked the Court to lift or modify the order now and allow the work necessary to implement the transition to go forward.  The Court’s order came six weeks before the transfer to Kaiser.  By all accounts that is not enough time to reverse course and run the hospitals as public facilities.”

In 2015, the state legislature passed a law ending the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation’s delivery of health care services at the three Maui facilities and transferring service delivery to a private operator.  On January 14, 2016, the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation board and its regional board signed an agreement to transition to a new Kaiser entity, Maui Health Systems.  United Public Workers, representing some of the Maui hospital employees, sued to stop the transition from taking place in the case of United Public Workers v. Ige.  On February 19, 2016, United States District Court Judge Helen Gillmor ruled in favor of the State, and UPW appealed to the federal Ninth Circuit Court.  On May 17, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court ordered the State to temporarily stop all activities related to the transition until September 30, 2016, unless sooner terminated by the Court, and for the parties to submit a joint status report.

“Governor Ige’s top priority is to protect patients in the Maui region hospitals,” Chin said.  “Our motion offers the Court a path to protect UPW members while the appeal is pending and simultaneously let the complex details of the implementation resume.”

It is not known when the Court will rule on this motion.  The motion and certain supporting documents are attached.

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For more information, contact:

Joshua Wisch
Special Assistant to the Attorney General
Department of the Attorney General
425 Queen Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Telephone: (808) 586-1284
Fax: (808) 586-1239