Joe Kent and Dr. Kyle Varner discussed the doctor shortage in Hawaii. The interview was recorded as part of the Grassroot Institute with Dr. Keli’i Akina, a radio show on KAOI and KAKU on Maui, and KKNE on Oahu.
“The sad and simple fact is that recruiters in Hawaiʻi cannot compete in terms of salary, in terms of benefits, and in terms of practice environment,” Dr. Varner began. Dr. Varner pointed out that doctors can earn 50% more by working on the mainland, where the cost of living is much cheaper.
According to a study performed by UH Manoa, Hawaii is short 900 doctors, and that number is growing. So what exactly can be done to combat the doctor shortage?
“First and foremost, Hawaii needs to fix its economy . . . by dramatically cutting taxes, by dramatically cutting regulation, and by making it a business friendly environment” recommended Dr. Varner, “Until you have a lot more businesses here, you are not going to have insurance plans that pay amounts to attract doctors.”