Big Island Blues - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

June 3, 2010

Big Island Blues

The big island has got a health problem, and it's rather sickening. Rest assured, there are no quick solutions or easy fixes to the problems there, and I'm not talking about vog. While Hawaii County is home to 14% of the state's population, it is also home to only 5% of the state's licensed doctors, and a licensed doctor is not necessarily an active and practicing one.

The Big Island has higher rates of hospital admittances due to hypertension, pneumonia and congestive heart failure than the state average, which might, in part, be explained by the fact that people are not getting checked out in advance of severe symptoms by doctors, of which there aren't enough to begin with. Check out the North Hawaii Outcomes Project's Community Health Profile 2010 report, and you will see that the island of Hawaii has higher cancer, heart disease, and suicide rates than the state as a whole. There are a number of factors involved, from ethnicity to economy to isolation- again, this is a complex problem that needs more attention.

And with an aging population and an aging doctor population without ample replacements coming forward, this situation is not about to turn a healthy corner any time soon, it appears. More focus on how to alleviate some of these serious issues needs to be a priority for healthcare providers, lawmakers, insurance companies and others soon. Think about it…

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