Letters to the Editor Feb. 16, 2013

By Del Norte Triplicate Readers February 18, 2013 03:56 pm

CC’s isolated hospital should not be downsized  

Sutter Health’s decision to regionalize (taking ownership of our hospital) would make it easier to turn our hospital into a critical care hospital, and that would be a very bad decision for our community.

Down-sizing to a critical care hospital would be particularly difficult for the needs of our elderly and low-income, especially if transported out of our area.

Crescent City is isolated and needs more and better health care.

Sutter Health as a not-for-profit organization should be concerned more about us and our health care than more profit for itself. Its decision to regionalize is really about money, not health care!

Jackie Simonsen, Crescent City

Grave concerns about hospital regionalization

The talk of “regionalization” and turning Sutter Coast Hospital into a critical access designation is alarming to people living in Del Norte and Curry counties.

Our grave concerns are for the following reasons:

• Reducing the number of beds to 25 (actually 22) would result in patients being transferred to hospitals in San Francisco and elsewhere that would be miles away.

• The cost of air flights and ground transportation to these far-away hospitals for an undetermined number of days, as well as the cost of returning home, which is the responsibility of the patient, would be horrendous.

• We want local decisions to be made by a local hospital board, not by people in San Francisco who are too far away to know the immediate concerns of our area.

• Why is a local hospital Board member being denied access to meetings and decision-making? We need a hospital management firm that is honest, listens to the community and will not cut our hospital in half.

• Doctors, nurses and health care workers will lose their jobs due to down-sizing, and new health care workers will find working in our area unattractive.

• Our economy will suffer even more because people will not want to live or retire here due to lack of sufficient health care; property values will decline even further and people will move away, leaving a drain on our economy.

These are just a few concerns that we all have. We would ask that the current Board reverse its decision to transfer the ownership of our local hospital to the ownership of Sutter Health. It will be the downfall of this beautiful area.

We want Del Norte and Curry counties to thrive and survive. We want this to be an area that people will be attracted to. That will not be the case if we lose control of our local hospital. We want to see the hospital grow and not decline in its ability to meet the needs of our local citizens.

Rawlin and Toni Radle, Crescent City