Hilo Medical Center is the city's primary hospital with 225 beds offering general medical, surgical and obstetric care, as well as emergency services. Other east Hawaii medical facilities include the Hale Hoola Hamakua long-term care facility in Honokaa and the Kau Critical Access Hospital in Pahala. The North Hawaii Community Hospital in Kameula serves the 31,000 residents in the northern region of the Big Island. These facilities have led to growth in the island's medical profession and to an expectation that the region will become the health and medical center of the Pacific Rim; this in turn could make the island attractive as a retirement center. Federal funding of $18.4 million was approved in December 2003 to build a Veteran's hospital in Hilo. The hospital will be a 95-bed long-term care and adult day-care center, which will further stimulate the need for medical workers.