Patient speaks out on staff turnover, pay inequality at Hawaii hospital

In an open letter to North Hawaii Community Hospital President Cindy Kamikawa, a patient draws attention to "the seemingly continuous turnover of doctors, nurses and other staff" at the Kamuela hospital.

The letter was published by West Hawaii Today and written by Margaret Roche, a resident of Honokaa, Hawaii. Ms. Roche, who had surgery twice this year, claims care continuity and patient experience has suffered under high rates of clinician turnover. She pointed to "untenable" working conditions as the reason for the turnover among staff.

"Highest among the several problems facing [staff] is the huge inequality of pay for the nurses working on the Big Island compared to the pay of nurses on our sister island of Oahu," she wrote. Nurses on Oahu are paid nearly $10 more per hour, according to Ms. Roche.

"[T]he hospital with its new almost-finished OR should be more than just bricks and steel. It is made of the nurses, doctors, aides, volunteers and patients and everyone else who lives and works in our community," Ms. Roche wrote.

Read the full letter here.


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