Governor signs bills: healthcare wins

This 2017-2018 Legislative session, Senator Roz Baker focused considerable effort on policies that aim to improve access to healthcare and health insurance coverage. On June 13, 2018, Governor David Ige signed the following bills that are part of Roz’s efforts to improve population health and access to health care coverage for Hawai`i’s families.

Act 43 (SB2298) creates a tax credit that seeks to increase the number of Hawai`i licensed healthcare preceptors, who volunteer to supervise clinical rotations of students and residents seeking careers as primary care physicians including osteopathic physicians, advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) and pharmacists. Hawai`i faces a critical shortage of healthcare providers. Our schools may be forced to limit enrollment without additional professional preceptors to supervise students in training for healthcare careers. These licensed, experienced preceptors are physicians, APRN’s and pharmacists who, in addition to their regular patient care caseload, volunteer to help students with the clinical competencies the students need to become Hawai`i’s future healthcare providers. This strategy has proven to be successful in other jurisdictions like Hawai`i facing similar shortages in their healthcare workforce.

Act 44 (SB2653) establishes licensure by endorsement for physicians, surgeons and osteopathic physicians.  It is another bill aimed at increasing the number of primary care providers in the State. Act44  provides a streamlined process for a qualified out-of-state physician to gain licensure in Hawai`i, increasing access to medical care for residents. As the critical need for healthcare providers continues to increase, licensure by endorsement will authorize more qualified doctors to practice in Hawai`i, keeping our `ohana healthy and happy.

Act 45, (SB3095) bans the use of the pesticide chloripyrifos in Hawai`i which was determined to be unsafe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The bill also establishes pesticide-free buffer zones around our schools, requires all users to report date and location where restricted-use pesticides are applied, and provides funds for the Department of Agriculture to conduct a pesticide drift monitoring study.

For a more detailed roundup on all the bills, please visit the Legislature’s website www.capitol.hawaii.gov.   

 

Photo caption: Hawaii became the first state to ban a controversial pesticide (Act 45). Just one of the three bills Governor David Ige signed into state law on June 13, 2018.  At the signing Roz was joined by Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English and Rep. Kyle Yamashita