Health care in Lane County has taken a huge hit, and few are taking notice, except those directly affected. An Aug. 7 article in The Register-Guard touted the new era of Mckenzie-Willamette Hospital in glowing terms.
The article failed to mention that ever since our own community hospital was bought out by a private firm, profits have taken precedence over people. Next on the chopping block? River Road Physical Therapy, McKenzie-Willamette’s only outpatient physical therapy department. Even though it showed a profit, this nearly new facility with state-of-the-art equipment and highly respected practitioners is being liquidated by shortsighted executives seeking greater revenue.
While shareholders may profit, the public will surely pick up the bill. As patients lose access to services that keep them healthy, they are more likely to turn to more expensive emergency room care.
We must speak out before vital services are lost and brand new facilities are wasted. Having a variety of choices, keeping costs competitive, and avoiding a monopoly on health care is imperative. A small investment now in preventive health care will pay great dividends in the future of Lane County and its people.
Jeri Cary Christian
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