Dave Wallace: Regional Health or regional wealth
It is very disheartening that the Memorial Regional Health facility found it necessary to lay off two dozen employees. For the past year, we have heard nothing from MRH but how it supports the community and provides numerous jobs. It has presented itself as a very community friendly facility. This, obviously, has been a crafty and cunning approach to solicit community support for the expansion of its establishment and greater control over the community’s medical services.
No different than a card shark, enticing individuals into his game of personal gain, MRH has been playing the community. MRH has been very successful in obtaining the necessary approvals and permits to allow it to move forward in its strategic plan facing absolutely no resistance. Several attainments are listed below.
• Newly constructed satellite clinic near Walmart, which also works very well referring patients up to the lion’s den.
• Successfully received donated property with an undetermined value from Colorodo Northwestern Community College.
• MRH has successfully received monetary donations exceeding $300,000 from local businesses and employees.
• Its requested building code variances from the Craig City Council were approved and handed out like candy at a homecoming parade.
It never ceases to amaze me how easily people are misled and captured in the trap of persuasive propaganda. All one has to do is tell the public it is a community investment, and the masses will fall in line to be part of the patriotic parade without asking questions or having any idea where the route will end.
Don’t be naïve. MRH has been methodically building its service empire in our community for some time. Competition, which is in the best interest of the consumer, has been conveniently ignored. If our community does, in fact, need these additional medical facilities, why hasn’t our community leadership and better business group sought to bring in a competitive service provider? That is what keeps prices in check. Did our community government even take the time to look into the relevant anti-trust Laws before providing MRH with the necessary building permits and approvals, or was the focus on economic development only?
The reason stated by MRH for its workforce reduction holds little water. The benefit to the patient in obtaining cost estimates and attractive billing is bull. As stated in the Craig Press article, the outsourcing group MRH has hired will be working on a percentage of revenue brought into MRH facilities. These outsiders will be working on a commission; the more money they can charge and collect, the more profitable it becomes. MRH is entering a win-win agreement, but I assure you, the patient isn’t included, and even though MRH is attempting to feed the community a nice juicy steak, the fact remains, it’s still road kill.
I would suggest anybody who needs to schedule medical procedures take the time to check prices — not only locally, but also outside the community. Get a quote on what procedure you are in need of. Don’t hesitate to shop around and find the best bang for your buck. This is good business practice and is no different than the competitive bidding process mandated in our city and county business charters.
This layoff of local residents, only to be replaced by an outsourcing group, is very troubling. I can only hope this blindside assault on our fellow residents is an eye opener for the community.
My heart goes out to those who have lost their positions, and I hope you all are successful in obtaining employment elsewhere.