My Recent Forage into Medical Care and Aloha.

I know that folks coming here on Hawaii Vacations have wondered about what kind/quality of health care is provided way out here in the middle of the Pacific. It was a big concern of mine when I started planning my move here and I really had no way of finding out the answer until I got here and started needing it. And since the subject is worth a whole blog post of its own (which I promise is coming and the final answer will be that it’s GREAT ), I’ll keep this one to my story and get some of the questions answered.

Some fun Hawaii pictures to lighten the mood: paddling out into turquoise, kissing Buddah, Lanikai

I was in Chinatown on a Saturday and I had heavy bags on each shoulder. It was raining when I got out and started my walk back to the car, I hit a puddle, I was wearing slippers (flipflops), and my feet went out from under me. I knew I’d broken something as soon as I hit the pavement and couldn’t move due to pain. I finally tried to get up and couldn’t so I just laid back down on the sidewalk. There was no one around me. I couldn’t get to my phone. I waited for the Universe to make its next move (which could have taken some time considering, quite bluntly, Chinatown has its share of shady inpiduals who are often found on the ground – so it’s not like being prone is going to attract a lot of attention). Then there was an umbrella over me, and a generous, wonderful anonymous couple who drove me to my house and from there I went to Castle Hospital, the only hospital on the windward side (yes they took me across the island). That’s where the Aloha comes into the story. Good people are everywhere in the world, but I still like to believe that Hawaii’s aloha spirit is rather magical.

More fun pictures: flora of Hawaii

So on a very late Saturday afternoon, the processing time from driving up to the entrance, checking in and then getting into an ER bay and care started was less than 10 minutes. I give them a TEN for that! The rest of the care I received continued at a very acceptable rate. I ended up being admitted for pain control (diagnosis was fracture of the socket that the hip ball goes into). Castle is an Adventist Care facility and, for me, proved it can meet its goals of care and caring. Ok, morning coffee was about a 2, but I’ll forgive them that. I was very pleased and can recommend this facility for all care (except high level trauma), even heart attack, as they can diagnose and stabilize before sending on to a Honolulu facility. They have rehab services, Centers for Cancer, Bones, and Birthing, and a highly acclaimed café open to the public. The orthopod on call for my care has won my loyality and I don’t feel compelled to look at big groups over in Honolulu like I used to. With Windward Oahu seeing so many tourists, and with the number of times I hear the sirens go by the main drag, I know services are being sought, unfortunately. But things happen on vacation. Don’t hesitate to stay on this side of the Pali if the Universe sends an emergency your way too.

Relaxing video of the beach on the windward side of Hawaii.


  1. I've been following the blog for several months now and needed little more in the way of convincing to know that the Hawaiian islands are a magical place- that I would someday like to call home. I'd heard mixed things about healthcare (and expense of  housing and basic items such as peanut butter.) Thank you for this post and the assurance it gives me. I would love to hear more! Also- the pieces written about daily life for residents are great in getting a sense of what life there is really like…though I know this is a vacation blog.
    Thanks again for all the great content!

  2. thank you , Dee.  I too figured healthcare way out here might be subpar…but it's not at all.  I've been extremely pleased with the care I get from my general doctors and the specialists.    I can not speak for the outer islands though.  It's a different situation on them.  I hope to get another post up soon expanding this subject.

  3. It was good to hear of the great health care you received at Castle Medical Center (located in Windward Oahu), an Adventist facility. For nearly 30 years, I have been priviledged to be a part of the Kettering Medical Center Network (on the mainland) which is also one of over 165 Seventh-day Adventist hospitals world wide (62 in USA). Working in this health care system, I have found the main philosophy to be centered on a spirit of healing the whole human being, by providing high quality, state-of-the-art medical intervention. North Hawaii Community Hospital, Kamuela, Hawaii (Big Island) is also a part of the Adventist Health Network. Since I am seriously contemplating retirement within the next 2-3 years, possibly to the Great State of Hawaii, it was encouraging to hear of your positive experience. (Both in the hospital, and in the community from wonderful private citizen "Good Samaritans"). I love the nice touches that you added, photography and video – it certainly helps provide a better picture of life on the Islands.  Thanks, Katherine, for the very informative post.

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