Bill Text: HI SCR90 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: Requesting The Department Of Health To Require That Each Of Its District Health Officers Be A Physician Licensed Under Chapter 453, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-12 - Referred to CPH. [SCR90 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2019-SCR90-Introduced.html


S.C.R. NO.














Requesting the department of health to require that each of its district health officers be a PHYSICIAN licensed under CHAPTER 453, hawaii revised statutes.



     WHEREAS, district health officers work extensively to protect and serve their communities' medical needs in the counties of Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii by assisting communities with emergency preparedness, family health services, public health nursing, services for the developmentally disabled, mental health services, vital statistics, and environmental health services including vector control, clean air, clean water, and sanitation programs; and


     WHEREAS, having a physician's knowledge and experience facilitates the district health officer position's day-to-day responsibilities and allows the officer to serve as a dedicated community resource; and


     WHEREAS, the Department of Health has long recognized that the district health officer in each of the three neighbor island counties should be a licensed physician, ideally a physician with experience in community medicine and public health; and


     WHEREAS, for many years, the Department of Health's district health officers met these requirements, but at some point the County of Hawaii district health officer position was filled by a non-physician without medical experience or a master's degree in public health, who served as an acting district health officer for six years; and


     WHEREAS, compared to district health officers who are physicians, the performance of non-physician district health officers has not been as proficient or acceptable to the community; and


     WHEREAS, there is still no requirement that all district health officers be physicians; and


     WHEREAS, requiring that district health officers of the Department of Health be physicians is extremely critical to the Department's ability to provide adequate community support, educate the community, and recognize the community's needs and concerns in the face of pressing public health issues; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2019, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Department of Health is requested to require that each of its district health officers be a physician licensed under Chapter 453, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Health and Chairperson of the Hawaii County Council.























Report Title: 

Department of Health; District Health Officers; Physicians