Relief is heading to the Ewa plain as the community’s only emergency room and hospital get ready to reopen their doors.
Queen’s Medical Center-West Oahu will open in less than three weeks, filling the void that was created when HMC-West closed in December 2011. Queen’s bought the hospital from St. Francis Healthcare System a year later.
Outside the new hospital Friday, workers drilled holes in what will be the new sign of Queen’s Medical Center-West Oahu.
The much-needed and long-awaited medical facility opens May 20 with a state-of-the art emergency room.
“It was so convenient when it was open,” said Earl Fernandez, Ewa Beach resident. “When it closed, you get kind of excited, especially when you have heart problems. You’ve got to go kind of far.”
“I had to go to Queen’s on the other side that was across the island. That was very harrowing for me,” said Kapolei resident Juliet Sisneros.
For paramedics, the new hospital will save at least 20 minutes of drive time.
“It’s going to help tremendously,” said Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Shayne Enright. “It’s going to cut down on our transport times dramatically. Say we have a call in Waianae. We won’t have to bypass the West anymore.”
When the hospital opens, it will have 80 beds, increasing to as many as 135 as needed. In addition to an emergency room, services will include imaging, cardiology and specialty clinics.
More than 350 workers have already been hired. They’re already training to make sure the equipment is working and practicing procedures before the big day.
“This also could potentially cut down on 911 calls in general,” Enright said. “If someone is suffering from a non-life-threatening emergency, he or she will be able to take themselves to the hospital and not rely on an ambulance for transport.”
The imaging center and specialty clinics have already opened and are accepting patients. The rest of the facility will follow in less than three weeks.
“Now it’s going to be reopened again and it’s just like one lifesaver again,” Fernandez said.