THE POOR SICK
While we were in the Office of the County Attorney [Loio Kalana] of Hawaii, a poor Hawaiian Mother appeared with her weakly daughter, and she expressed to the County Attorney of Hawaii. Because of the debility of her daughter, the daughter was in Hilo Hospital for forty days, and when she got a little better, she was discharged even if we could see that the young girl had not conquered her wasting away from sickness.
When her daughter was discharged, this poor Hawaiian mother was compelled to pay $40.00 for the forty days her daughter was in Hilo Hospital. The Hawaiian Mother informed them that she was poor, and that her husband was generally feeble, and she really could not pay the money that the requested by the Nurse of the Hospital. The Hospital is part of the County, and it is the people’s money that pays for the expenses of that Hospital, and if a poor person living in the County cannot pay for their medical care, isn’t the establishment and its expenses taken care of by the taxes payers? Then what is the reason that this poor Hawaiian Mother is being required to pay this sum of money for the medical treatment of her feeble daughter. That is one reason that some poor Hawaiians are reluctant to go quickly to the Hospital, because they are destitute; and by putting it off, the right time goes long by, and they cannot be treated appropriately. Sometimes when a poor person is examined, and he cannot pay for his medical expenses, this is something not understood by the Nurses of the Hospital. These are scenes from days past. Do the law makers of the County not understand this great difficulty of our poor debilitated people?
[How much have things changed?]
(Hoku o Hawaii, 1/1/1920, p. 2)