Legislators approve $1.5 million appropriation for Hawaii kidney and liver transplant center

The Republic

HONOLULU — State lawmakers approved a $1.5 million emergency appropriation for a kidney and liver transplant facility in Hawaii.

The Senate and House approved the funding bill Friday, voting unanimously to match funds with the Queen's Medical Center for a $3 million organ transplant facility, as well as give $300,000 to the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii.

Hawaii hasn't had a Medicare and Medicaid Services-certified organ transplant facility since Hawaii Medical Centers closed its two Oahu hospitals in December, which motivated lawmakers to move quickly.

The hospital closures mean 400 Hawaii patients on national kidney and liver transplant waiting lists have to get on waiting lists at mainland hospitals.

Abercrombie recommended the Legislature immediately pass the bill at the start of session and is expected to sign the bill into law.