STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3464
RE: H.B. No. 1635
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2022
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Health, to which was referred H.B. No. 1635, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH CARE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Establish the Rural Health Task Force within the Department of Health to prepare and develop solutions and make recommendations on registered nurse recruitment and retention in rural areas of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai; and
(2) Require the Rural Health Task Force to submit a report of its findings, recommendations, and any proposed legislation to the Legislature prior to the Regular Session of 2023.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from one member of the Maui County Council, Hana Health, Hawai‘i Primary Care Association, Lāna‘i Community Health Center, Maui Chamber of Commerce, The Queen's Health Systems, and Molokai Community Health Center. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Health, Department of Human Services, and Hawai‘i State Center for Nursing.
Your Committee finds that there is a shortage of health care workers in the State, which is most severe on the neighbor islands and in other rural communities. This measure would provide the Department of Health with assistance from the health care providers in east Maui, Molokai, and Lanai in developing tangible action steps to assist with the recruitment and retention of registered nurses in these areas.
Your Committee acknowledges the testimony of the Department of Human Services, which notes that although it provides access to health care coverage and works with hospitals and nursing facilities, it does not have expertise in the recruitment, employment, or management of registered nurses, and thus requests to be removed from the task force.
Therefore, your Committee has amended this measure by removing the Department of Human Services from the Rural Health Task Force.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1635, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1635, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Commerce and Consumer Protection and Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health,
JARRETT KEOHOKALOLE, Chair