Categorized | Health

Governor enacts bill to provide funds for transplant services

MEDIA RELEASE

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed into law House Bill 608, which appropriates state funds to The Queen’s Medical Center to perform kidney and liver transplants and to the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii to maintain its chronic kidney disease management program.

“Without operational organ transplant services in the state, patients with end-stage diseases must register on transplant waiting lists for mainland transplant centers and many of these patients will face a longer waiting time,” Abercrombie said.

“This was a collaborative effort where the Legislature, community members, and health providers understood that lives were at stake,” he said. “I’m grateful that we are able to make a positive difference.”

This is the first bill enacted by the Governor this session. The sum appropriated, which are subject to dollar-for-dollar private matching funds, include:

* $1.5M to The Queen’s Medical Center to support services to perform kidney and liver transplants in Hawaii

* $300,000 to the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii to maintain its chronic kidney disease management program.

“We are very appreciative of the efforts of the Governor and the Legislature for their commitment to save this vital program,” said Art Ushijima, President of The Queen’s Medical Center. “Establishing the Queen’s Transplant Center as quickly as possible has been a top priority.”

According to the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii, there are currently 400 patients on the transplant waiting list.

“We are truly grateful that the community, especially to The Queen’s Medical Center, the state elected officials and to Governor Abercrombie, responded to the true need for a transplant center in Hawaii,” said Glenn Hayashida, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii. “Everyone understood that not everyone could travel to the mainland for a transplant.”

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