On Saturday, Aug. 25, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Kihei-Wailea Medical Center, located in the Pi'ilani Shopping Center in Kihei, will host its third free health-screening clinic for those without insurance and in need.
The operative word here is "free." All the medical staff members involved are volunteering their services, and the medical tests and other activities are donated.
You don't need an appointment--just show up and you will be seen.
Senior Contributing Writer
According to the U.S. Census, Maui is home to 156,674 people. Of those who are adults (ages 18 to 64), 9 percent do not have any kind of healthcare coverage. According to the Hawai'i State Department of Health, this lack of insurance is a serious problem because medical costs in the U.S. are extremely high, so people without health insurance may not be able to afford medical treatment or prescription drugs.
They are also less likely to get routine checkups and screenings. If they do become ill, they will not seek treatment until the condition is more advanced, and therefore, more difficult and costly to treat. In addition, many small businesses are unable to offer health insurance to employees due to rising health insurance premiums.
Someday, the U.S. may join the rest of the world and define healthcare as a right instead of a commodity that you can receive only if you have the money. Until that day arrives, it will be organizations like the Kihei-Wailea Medical Center and their annual, free health-screening clinic that many reading this editorial will turn to as they struggle to meet their needs.
Joel Krause, the office manager for the medical center, when interviewed on the Maui Breakfast Club radio show (KNUI AM 900, Monday through Friday, 7 to 9 a.m.), was asked why the center is holding the clinic.
"We wanted to give back," he said. "We know there is a need out there and we wanted to do what we could to help out. We're neighbors, and neighbors try to help each other."
Maui's greatest strength has always been its small towns and the caring that we show to each other without any expectation of return. The Kihei-Wailea Medical Center is acting in the best of that tradition, and they deserve our appreciation and aloha.
For details on the wide range of medical and diagnostic services that will be provided, see "Kihei-Wailea Medical Center to Hold Free Health Screening Clinic" on page 8.