Letters for Monday — April 24, 2006

• More qualified people needed for prescriptions

• Businesses should promote water safety

• Dogs need a place in the sun

• Thursday calendar should include weekend’s events


More qualified people needed for prescriptions

In response to a letter sent in by Denise C. Kellaher, DO about “Hawai’i’s poor being used,” I agree with much of what she says.

Hawaiians in rural areas (and on Kaua’i in general) do not deserve to have unqualified people give them any types of medication.

I agree that needs of this island include more access to reimbursed Kupuna services, more housing and funding for indigent mentally ill, more dual diagnosis treatment programs, and more respect for Hawai’i’s mentally ill on Kaua’i.

However, it is unfortunate, that Dr. Kellaher singles out psychologists as her target to vent about these problems.

I have lived on Kaua’i for almost 2 years, and am the clinical psychologist at Waimea H.S. and Kekaha Elementary School, and have a small practice in Kalaheo. I have come to learn that the over-whelming majority of psychiatrists and family doctors on island are very good!

However, there are not enough psychiatrists on Kaua’i, and the majority of family doctors do not have the psychiatric training to adequately prescribe medications for complex psychological problems.

This is in no way a “knock” on these excellent physicians. It is, however, not their area of specialty.

I also agree with Dr. Kellaher that psychologists, as with advanced practice nurses or physician’s assistants, should get “as good medical training” as is necessary to prescribe these type of drugs.

It is my understanding that the Hawaii Psychological Association and the government, through statutes like House Bill 2589, are making every effort to make sure that this happens.

Ironically, at this point in my career, I have no interest in personally obtaining prescription privileges. However, when I talk with the people on the westside, I hear about their difficulties finding psychiatrists, or about the family doctors who responsibly tell their patients that they do not have the expertise or training to prescribe certain “psychiatric drugs.”

However, psychologists are very well-trained in diagnosing and treating mental illness. If there are psychologists who are willing to go through additional training that would allow them to safely prescribe medication, I am fully in favor of that.

I would hope that Dr. Kellaher might put some of her energies into making sure that there is “good medical training” for psychologists and other professionals on Hawai’i, since there is no question, especially on Kaua’i, that we need more qualified individuals who can prescribe psychiatric medication, when needed, for our community.

  • Kenneth W. Gilstein
    Kalaheo

Businesses should promote water safety

What a great article, Paul Curtis, about Liko Villatora and the Easter Day rescue (The Garden Island, April 19) that he carried out in Nawiliwili Bay. A very heartfelt “Thank you Liko” for averting a terrible tragedy, the likes of which I’m all too familiar with from the vatage point of my work place in the Wilcox Emergency Room.

His comments about the equipment rental companies are also very to the point, and we will be promoting his comments as we gear up for Water Safety Week, May 29 – June 3.

As he points out, these companies must not be renting out boggie boards without also renting out fins, and they should take a few moments to explain some water safety basics to their customers.

Our county lifeguards are developing, as we speak, a program whose purpose it will be to heighten the water-safety awareness and responsibility of these “beach boy” businesses.

These companies should be telling their customers where to go, where not to go because of unsafe conditions that day, how to approach the water, what to do if they do get caught in a rip, etc.

As Liko notes: “It shouldn’t be all about making the money. Kauai is different from other places in the world.”

Or at least we should strive to be different, to be better and more caring.

  • Monty Downs
    Kapa’a

Dogs need a place in the sun

How I wish I had seen the invitation to the Dog Talk Story session held Thursday.

Our dogs had wonderful opportunities to socialize with others on a weekly basis some 10 years ago. The beach we visited had lots of local dogs, all of which got along.

Those days were ruined when the leash law on beaches was enforced. The woman quoted at the meeting has it right — dogs need to have a place to socialize.

My recommendation is to set aside at least four beaches (North, East, South and West beaches) which will allow dogs to run free and swim together.

Such places should be posted “Dogs Play Here” to warn those who do not want to be with dogs and their owners and they should go elsewhere. It’s not that we don’t have enough beaches to go around, at least today.

How about it Becky — Will you help us dog owners find a place in the sun?

  • Bobbie Love
    Kapa’a

Thursday calendar should include weekend’s events

The Calendar of Events published in The Garden Island provides an important community service.

That service would be greatly improved if the Thursday calendars included all of the events scheduled throughout the weekend.

Not incorporating the complete Sunday activities does a disservice to readers who would have participated in those events, and does a disservice to those providing the activities.

Placing the information in Sunday’s paper is too little, too late.

By the time people see it, they are often unable to avail themselves of the activity in which they are interested.

  • Judy Rachap
    Po’ipu
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