Posted by: amsajabsom | June 15, 2010

Healthcare for Pacific Islanders – Discussion

Here are pictures from our Healthcare for Pacific Islanders event, which AMSA put on as a part of National Primary Care Week.  Drs. Neal Palafox, Sheldon Riklon, and Wilfred Alik addressed the then (October 2009) and continuing issue of decreased funding for Micronesians who previously received healthcare in Hawaii under the Compact of Free Association (COFA).  Although the US government made Micronesians ineligible for Medicaid in 1996, Hawaii was the only state to continue to provide free health care with Medicaid-like benefits to Micronesians.

Under the current budget crisis, however, the state of Hawaii has proposed changing Micronesians to a new plan, called Basic Health Hawaii, with less funding and subsequent removal of chemotherapy and dialysis benefits.  Hawaii Medical Journal has a supplement containing more information about this issue (http://www.hawaiimedicaljournal.org/69.06.suppl3.htm).

AMSA members hope to be able to advocate for healthcare for Micronesians, especially since there are many Micronesian patients who visit the JABSOM H.O.M.E. clinic.  We hope to continue this discussion and are open to any ideas for activism.  Please contact us at amsa.jabsom@gmail.com if you are interested in participating or want to contribute your time and energy.

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