Lawmakers consider medical vans to help Hawaii homeless

Officials said the vans will cost less than treating the state's homeless residents at hospitals


Associated Press

HONOLULU — A proposal aimed at cutting emergency room costs for treating homeless people would cost the state $1.4 million each year to operate two mobile medical clinics.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that lawmakers unanimously voted Friday to move forward on the bill introduced by state Sen. Josh Green.

The proposal calls for two mobile clinics that would operate primarily on Oahu, with a driver, doctor, nurse and psychiatrist onboard.

Green says the vans will cost less than treating the state's homeless residents at hospitals.

He says Oahu's Queens Medical Center faces $90 million in costs each year to treat homeless people while receiving little reimbursement from the federal government.

Green estimates it would cost $500,000 to purchase and outfit each medical vehicle and $1.4 million annually for operating costs.

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