Letters to the Editor

Whidbey General Hospital’s record of ‘incompetence’

I recently listened to a Whidbey General Hospital employee present reasons why the new inpatient facility is needed. Among the papers she distributed was a Feb. 15 email from the hospital Chief Financial Officer to various people in administration and management. In it he says “However, the actual bond debt payments (i.e. the principal and interest) are scheduled to increase 2 percent per year ...so, the actual property tax payment from an individual taxpayer will increase a little less than 2 percent a year.”

That didn’t sound right so I contacted the Assessor’s office. They responded: “The taxes for the bond should remain relatively consistent for most taxpayers from one year to the next, very likely decreasing slightly over the 26 year life of the bonds.” The CFO was wrong. This is another WGH administrative incompetence to add to the list. There’s the payroll system that can’t pay overtime correctly, due to a previous administration, according to Trish Rose. Don’t forget that the person in charge of the computer’s payroll system at that time is now the hospital CEO. Then the current administration put off correcting the problem. How much is that fiasco going to cost the hospital? There’s the Stark Law violations, due to a previous CEO, the current CEO (COO at the time) and three of the current board commissioners. This will cost taxpayers millions in fines and other costs. We have the current board of commissioners not replacing the worn out Whidbey General South clinic while wondering why many south end residents get health care off the island.

So the problems do not lay solely with past administrations or the current one. The problem is that there is a continuing culture of administrative incompetence at WGH. Don’t allow the proposed new wing construction to become another addition to this list of shame.

Thomas Saportes

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