Council tackles West Oahu's lack of emergency room

Pine: HMC West was 2nd-busiest ER on Oahu

 UPDATED 1:01 PM HST Apr 16, 2013

The closure of a west Oahu hospital has led to increased ambulance transport times as remaining emergency rooms become over-crowded.

Honolulu Department of Emergency Services Director Mark Rigg says when ERs become full ambulances have to go to locations further away. He's concerned about a lack of standardized criteria for determining when an ER can't accept more patients.

West Oahu councilmembers are hosting a briefing on Tuesday to address the lack of an emergency room in the fast-growing area.

An emergency room will be available when a closed Ewa hospital reopens in 2014, but it will be more than two years that the area is without an ER.

Councilwoman Kymberly Pine says that before Hawaii Medical Center-West closed, it was the second-busiest emergency room on the island.

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