Cancer radiation treatment specialist Dr. John Lederer will be able to continue using oncology radiation facilities at the Queen’s Medical Center, but the other five doctors at Pacific Radiation Oncology will not, under a preliminary injunction issued this week by a federal judge.
The injunction is part of a lawsuit PRO doctors filed to block a Queen’s policy that took effect Feb. 1, restricting use of its oncology radiation facilities to only its employee physicians.
The hospital’s board of directors approved the policy in August.
Queen’s is appealing the injunction.
"This was a power play by Queen’s to establish a virtual monopoly for radiation therapy on Oahu. This was facilitated by the very untimely and unfortunate closure of Hawaii Medical Centers," Lederer said Thursday at a news conference.
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U.S. District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi addressed Lederer’s claim in her injunction.
The closing of the Hawaii Medical Center hospitals in Ewa and Liliha in December and January, respectively, left Queen’s as the only facility on Oahu with an operating room approved for radiation oncology by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Queen’s offered Lederer and the other PRO physicians jobs at Queen’s, but they turned down the offers because Queen’s would have required them to stop providing services at competing facilities and relinquish ownership or financial arrangement with any other facility that provides radiation oncology services.
PRO’s principal physicians have an interest in and run the Cancer Center of Hawaii clinics at Hawaii Medical Center’s hospitals. Lederer is the Cancer Center’s medical director.
He said the Cancer Center has committed more than $9 million to install new equipment at the Leeward and Liliha clinics to offer the types of radiation treatment now available only at Queen’s.