Letters to the Editor

Strong motives for a 'yes' vote | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

A private takeover of WGH would mean one thing: profits for the owner.

Dr. Paul Zaveruha was right on the button, asking how Capella would make money on the deal. They presumably said that "money made would be reinvested in the Coupeville facility," and they would keep a 1.8 percent management fee. They didn't say how much money would be reinvested, leaving the impression that a mere 1.8 percent fee was all they might want to take. I doesn't work that way.

I've given much thought as to why medical costs continue to rise faster than other costs. One big reason seldom mentioned is profits. I own some shares in a successful medical REIT. The pay and benefits for the three top executives make up the better part of their annual meeting issues, with virtually nothing about patient care or facilities.

They, and others like them, like to buy clean, well-run operations like WGH - they are just properties with which to play the money game, not to serve the community. The more offers WGH gets, the sweeter the deal for the bidders. The WGH commissioners were wise to say no.

No means, as a community hospital, the would-be profits are invested back into the hospital facility via the bond issue.

Perhaps even more important - we, the people, through our commissioners, retain considerable control over large decisions here. Commissioners can be voted out, corporate owners cannot.

I've needed to use WGH services several times this last six months. Their coordination with medical services offered here and on the mainland is excellent, supported by a highly skilled, flexible EMS. The community-owned hospital system gives us, the people, much more control with better services at lower costs (no corporate profits). And our motives to support the hospital through charitable contributions remains strong.

I voted yes on the bond issue for these very reasons. I hope you do too, quickly. May 17 is this week.

Theo Wells


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