Your Views for August 18


Attracting doctors

We are all going to have health insurance in a few months. The real question is: Will we have medical care?

The Big Island is short 152 physicians, according to a recent study. Of those here now, over 30 percent are planning to retire in the near future.

Occasionally, the Legislature debates how to attract more doctors to come to Hawaii. As for answers, they are more interested in keeping the status quo than solving the problem.

Why would anyone move to a location with a high cost of living that pays below average, requires a grueling work schedule because of the doctor shortage, and on top of all that, targets those who do come with the specter of a predatory legal system?

Malpractice claims extract a significant emotional cost on physicians. Fear of a malpractice claim can undermine a physician’s moral, and it drives doctors to order excessive and expensive medical tests. It is also a significant financial barrier to maintaining a medical practice.

Doing something is going to become critical. Hawaii’s malpractice law needs to be reformed. For most cases, an administrative commission to handle legitimate claims in a fair and timely manner should be established. Only extraordinary cases should go to trial. All punitive damages should be deposited in the Hawaii victim compensation fund to compensate people with no other avenue of recovery. Perhaps then we can start at attracting the doctors this community.

Mike Mentnech

Keaau

Geothermal benefits

I have heard a lot of complaining about building more geothermal plants and would like someone to write an article about them that is unbiased.

I have read several articles over the years that say electricity produced by geothermal is far cheaper than the current oil-fired plants. Is that true, and if all our electricity were to be produced by geothermal, what would be the rate (mine is currently about 42 cents per kilowatt hour)?

I lived in Leilani Estates for two years and have lived in Kapoho for the last 15 years. I have driven by the existing plant several times each week during those 17 years and have never smelled, heard or seen anything “bad” happening.

Can the “bad” effects other people have reported be verified? They say geothermal plants pollute, but do they pollute more than the oil-fired plants we have? Is their pollution different from what the volcanoes put out?

All the oil has to be imported, while the geothermal is right here on the island. It seems that such a local natural resource should not go unused. We should explore all types of alternative energy, but it seems that we have the technology to build geothermal energy plants now.

Jerry Lindman

Pahoa

Paradise found?

Living in paradise comes with many things, but we need to come together to build paradise. We still need the equality. We need to love and respect everybody regardless of race, sex and orientation. It is this hatred and jealousy that makes paradise crumble when we refuse to come together as one nation and help build paradise.

We live in paradise, but it won’t exist without the love and aloha that makes Hawaii different and unique. To build paradise, in my opinion, we need to legalize gambling, marijuana and marriage equality in Hawaii and beyond. This is important because it equals job creation and unity.

Hawaii is really a place everybody nationwide can call paradise. So I ask, if you call yourself a leader, to step forward and build the true paradise Hawaii is destined to be.

The future is in the youth. So all youth: If you want to make a change, then lend your voice and make that change now.

Troy Abraham

Hilo

Teacher woes

There are articles that Hawaii has trouble keeping good, young teachers. Why? As I see it from a layman’s view, there are a couple of reasons. One is the matter of tenure or seniority. If you are a young teacher, you cannot penetrate the tenure veil. Another is the fact that all teachers are controlled by one school district, statewide.

Why doesn’t each county have its own school district? Oh, I forgot; the union would not like that.

That my be another and perhaps a larger problem. Get the unions out of the classroom.

Bob Dukat

Pahoa

 

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