Gov. Neil Abercrombie approved $1.8 million in state funds today for a kidney and liver transplant program at the Queen’s Medical Center to replace the one that closed with the Hawaii Medical Center’s bankruptcy.
At a bill-signing ceremony at Queen’s, Abercrombie signed House Bill 608, which was expedited by the state Legislature and unanimously approved Friday by the House and Senate.
Abercrombie said without an organ transplant program in Hawaii many patients with end-stage diseases would have had to register on wait lists for mainland treatment centers and face a longer waiting time.
There are 400 people on the state’s transplant waiting list, according to the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii.
“It’s a blessing,” said Gloria Pangan, of Waipio Gentry, who attended the ceremony with her husband, Antonio Pangan, who is awaiting a kidney transplant.