Hawaii vs. Mainland Medicine


Well, let’s start with the smell.
Mike just got a total knee replacement at Kaiser South San Francisco Hospital, and the hospital didn’t smell. At all. We were so pleasantly surprised, because the times I’ve been in Maui Memorial Hospital and the Moanalua Kaiser Hospital on Oahu, they both had this cloying stench. As a patient, I couldn’t stand being there. And as a visitor, Mike didn’t want to hang out with me.

Then there’s the track record. The problem with surgeries in Hawaii is the size of the population. Kaiser surgeons might perform 100-200 joint replacements per year. Yet Mike’s mainland surgeon performs 400 per year. Big difference! Lots more practice=more accurate surgeries.

When I got my gallbladder out on Maui, the surgeon dropped a stone, but didn’t know it. It festered for months and I became quite toxic. Another Maui doctor tried to remove the stone in an emergency ERCP procedure, but failed. Why? Because he doesn’t do enough of them! So I was air-lifted to Oahu, nearly dead, where they removed the stone.

But wait, there’s more. I immediately got a staph infection during the procedure and ended up in intensive care. I was in the hospital for over a week.

No one we know has surgery in Hawaii. A friend went to get a shoulder replacement at Mayo Clinic in the Midwest. Another friend is currently getting cancer treatment in San Francisco. We personally know of only one person who has been happy with the medical care; a part – time Maui resident who had an appendix removed with no issues. There may be lots of other satisfied patients out there, we just haven’t heard of any. And we certainly have not had good luck.

I share of all of this because many older people write to me, considering retiring in Maui. But the older we get, the more medical care we may need. Mike’s knee replacement is a perfect example. And he also needs the other knee done! And my rotator cuff is torn and needs surgery.

But we just aren’t going to give them another crack at us in Hawaii.

The California hospital here was extremely clean, stench – free, and so well-run and organized we couldn’t believe it. It took HOURS to get me checked out of the Hawaii hospitals. Here? 10 minutes, tops.

Lastly, our next-door neighbor on Maui just had a horrible experience at Maui Memorial and his wife is a nurse there!

Lots to think about…

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

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