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Community needs to support hospital

Community needs to support hospital
To the Editor,
A town our size should have a hospital, and we have an excellent one. In order for The Memorial Hospital to stay here, it must remain financially sound. If it loses too much money, the doors will have to close. As health care consumers, we have important issues to consider when we choose to have tests and procedures done.
In today’s health care market, there are many services in which hospitals lose money, and there are a few in which they can make money. In order for a hospital to stay afloat, it is important to maintain a healthy number of those services which make money. These days, hospitals make money in areas such as outpatient procedures, elective operations, and high tech diagnostics. Examples of these are items such as colonoscopy (a scope of the colon), gall bladder surgery, ultrasound, and MRi. All of these are procedures and exams that can be done rapidly with either no overnight stay or only a short stay in the hospital. Again, these are among the relatively small number of services in which hospitals make money.
I want to be very clear that I am not advocating that people get more tests and procedures done than they already do. One of the reasons for spiraling health insurance costs is that patients and doctors request too many tests. However, when you do need a test or procedure, you should think carefully about where it will be done.
Sometimes, it may seem more convenient or more attractive to get your test or procedure done somewhere other than our hospital. But if enough people go elsewhere for these items, our hospital will lose its financial stability and will not be here. When that happens, think how convenient or attractive it will be when you are dying of internal bleeding and the ambulance has to drive for an hour to get you to the nearest hospital. If we want a hospital near us when we really need it, we need to support it. Randy Phelps and Roger White do a marvelous job caring for the hospital’s financial stability, but they need our help as well.
Doctors of Moffat County, I urge you to avoid ordering tests and procedures anywhere other than our superb hospital. Citizens of Moffat County, if you need a test or procedure done, tell your doctor that you want to use our hospital, your hospital. Our wonderful community deserves a great hospital let’s keep it great.
Greg Roberts, MD

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