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Letters to the Editor July 4, 2013

Sutter telling a half-truth, concealing key facts

Sutter Health continues to try to take ownership of our hospital and is now studying downsizing Sutter Coast to a Critical Access facility. Take a look at who wins and who loses!

Under Critical Access, Sutter Health can bill higher rates for Medicare patients, but we lose half of our hospital beds and the requirement that a doctor be available to the Emergency Room at all times.

If Sutter Health takes ownership of our hospital, it gets complete control of all future decisions, including Critical Access designation. We lose our local hospital Board of Directors — which includes the chief of the medical staff, currently Dr. Greg Duncan, our knight in shining armor! Our local board will be replaced by a Sutter board in San Francisco.

If Sutter Health gains ownership of our hospital they may downsize us to Critical Access status (25 beds or less), but they get guaranteed payments from Medicare. We lose local jobs (from the hospital) but, more importantly, overflow patients will be flown to far-off hospitals and have to return home as they can manage, with no help from their insurance.

Sutter Health claims our hospital is losing millions of dollars! Why won’t they open their books to Dr. Duncan or the county supervisors? Why are they spending huge amounts of money on legal maneuvers to take our hospital ownership and governance away from us, if it is such a losing business? Why are their meeting minutes hidden from us? I smell a rat!

Hospital employees afraid of losing their jobs will not find comfort from this corporation; as beds and services are cut, so are employees. Don’t you get it? Outsourcing of jobs has already begun.

Asante runs great hospitals and its president and CEO has expressed an interest in us, but the Hospital Board will not let it happen, despite the “will of the people.” Hmmm, wonder why?

New CEO Linda Horn says Critical Access is not being discussed. I think this is called a half-truth. Let one shoe fall (regionalization) and then the other (Critical Access).

Lilyan Wood, Crescent City


Another case starts with bang, ends with whimper

I would like to commend reporter Anthony Skeens for the June 29 article “Silvey charges mostly dropped.” As with a pattern of cases filed by suspended District Attorney Jon Alexander, as Mr. Skeens correctly stated, this case, “started with thunderclouds but ended with a light mist.”

Funny how this and other such cases Mr. Alexander litigated in the paper turned out in the end. Our poor county has the money to spend on such grandstanding of cases that fizzle out?

Also, Mr. Skeens left out of the article that Ms. Silvey’s attorney, who succeeded in getting Alexander to dismiss 28 of the charges, was Karen Olson. Attorney Dale Trigg resolved the case into what will be a dismissal.

Harwood Johnson, Gasquet


Del Norte Triplicate:

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P.O. Box 277
Crescent City, CA 95531

(707) 464-2141

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