County of Maui And US Military To Provide Free Healthcare

Call government-funded healthcare a military “rapid deployment exercise,” give it a cool name like “Tropic Care Maui” and even the Republicans will get on board. Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa did just that in a May 14 news release announcing that free health, dental and vision care will be offered to Maui County, courtesy of 400 uniformed personnel in the US armed forces.

“This program will provide vital health care services for residents, especially those who don’t have or cannot afford any medical insurance,” said Arakawa in the statement.

Residents will be able to receive care at several locations across the islands. These clinics will run June 4-12 with hours from 8am-4pm. All residents are welcome and no identification or fees will be required. Uniformed doctors, nurses, pharmacists, ophthalmologists, dentists and other healthcare workers will perform services including physical examinations, vision checks, basic dental care and nutrition counseling, among others, stated the May 14 news release.

Tropic Care 2013 will be made possible through collaboration between the county, the State of Hawaii Department of Health and the Innovative Readiness Training Program of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. Maui County was selected as a location for the program after Arakawa signed an official request to the U.S. Department of Defense in 2011. Last year’s location was Kauai, which received about $1 million in free health services for an estimated 12,000 residents, according to military officials cited by the news statement.

“This opportunity will allow the Department of Health to save thousands of dollars and collect substantial and important data to map the landscape of Maui County’s health status,” said Dr. Lorrin Pang, Health Officer of the Maui County District, in the statement. “Tropic Care is a huge undertaking but our Federal, State and County levels of government are doing this so the community can reap the benefits.”

Here are the free clinic locations:

• Central Maui: IAO INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL – June 4-12
• South Maui: ST. THERESA CATHOLIC CHURCH – June 4-12
• Hana: HELENE HALL – June 4-6
• West Maui: LAHAINA CIVIC CENTER – June 11-12