Infrastructure issues threaten to close Hawaii hospital

Kealakekua, Hawaii-based Kona Community Hospital is asking Hawaii legislature for $19 million to fix utility issues that are putting the hospital at risk of shutting down, Hawaii News Now reported Feb. 23.

Some of the facility's cooling and ventilation equipment is so old it can't be fixed due to the parts being so outdated that replacements are no longer available. Other critical equipment should have been replaced years ago, according to the report.

"We have equipment that could fail at any time. And if that were to happen we would potentially have to evacuate patients," Diane Hale, chief nurse executive at West Hawaii Regional, told Hawaii News.

After decades of chronic underfunding, the hospital is in jeopardy of closing if the infrastructure is not fixed.

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