17 Aug 2010

Hawaii health plan will cost lives - Micronesian doctor advocate

1:20 pm on 17 August 2010

The head of a group opposed to Hawaii's new health plan says it's bringing a lawsuit against it in a bid to save lives.

The Mircronesian Health Advisory Coalition is appealing for donations for its legal defence fund against the Basic Health Hawaii Plan which came into force last month.

The coalition's chair, Dr Wilfred Alik, says the Plan reduces medical services to a bare minimum for citizens of countries under the United States' Compacts of Free Association.

He says many people suffer from chronic illnesses and a cut in services would mean more early deaths.

"We think it's an unjust plan. It's unethical, it's immoral on the basis of under the equal protection law clause. And also, especially the Marshallese population, we feel we've given a lot, you know, to the United States in terms of the nuclear testing, the United States nuclear legacy in the Marshall Islands."

Dr Wilfred Alik says the coalition hopes the health plan will be stopped permanently.