Group working on West Maui hospital
: What ever happened to plans for a hospital in West Maui, especially for emergency services in an area more than 25 miles from Maui Memorial Medical Center?
Answer: The West Maui Improvement Foundation is moving forward with plans to develop the 14.9-acre hospital site on the Kaanapali side of the Lahaina Civic Center, a parcel that has been set aside by Kaanapali Development Corp.
Foundation President Joseph Pluta said his nonprofit group has retained consultants to develop an environmental assessment and a survey of the site.
Pluta said the environmental assessment is expected to be completed in April, and the foundation will be seeking a land use change and boundary amendment zoning for the project.
He said two different groups of physicians have expressed interest in developing the hospital.
Pluta declined to name the groups at this time.
Pluta said the foundation hopes to select a developer by the end of the year and move forward with plans to seek a certificate of need from state health officials.
The state-run Maui Memorial Medical Center is working with various groups, including the foundation, to examine the health needs of West Maui.
West Maui has about 50,000 people including visitors, and accounts for an estimated 40 percent of county revenues.
The hospital's estimated development cost is from $35 million to $45 million and would include 35 beds, an emergency room and a diagnostic and imaging department.
This update was written by Gary T. Kubota.
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