$50 million bond won’t improve care
May 3, 2011 · Updated 1:08 PM
Did you ever find yourself in a situation and take a second to “blink” and as a result get a gut feeling, unconscious, that something was not right? Well I have and do every day as you all do! Specifically, in reference to the Whidbey General Hospital bond, I asked myself when it made no sense to me, how in these economic times we can afford an enormous expenditure. So I took the next step forward and had a tour of Whidbey General Hospital to see what the proposed $50 million hospital expansion project proposal will do for the community.
It will do the following:
• Provide private rooms for patients.
• Provide other minor infrastructure updates to the hospital.
• Allow the hospital to compete with the hospitals in Anacortes and Mount Vernon for patients.
It will not do the following:
• It will not improve the patient’s quality of care, as the hospital already meets the Joint Commission of Hospital Association standards and guidelines at a federal level.
• It will not change the way the local doctors care for patients.
• It will not change the overall outcome of your care.
• It will not change the infection control rates and the statistics to a statistically significant level.
This last year alone we saw our property taxes increase close to 10 percent as a result of the recent approved school bonds, even though our assessments went down, because your home is not worth what it use to be. Our federal and state governments are cutting budgets in these unsure economic times, the worst since the Great Depression, and our community is being asked to vote for a bond initiative that will impact our property taxes for the next 26 years.
Whidbey General is an excellent hospital with state-of-the-art oncologic services, radiologic services and excellent physicians. We need to remember that Whidbey General is a community hospital, not a university hospital or a teaching center. It serves the community of Whidbey Island proudly.
The bond initiative will not improve the present standards of care we receive in our community, but it might improve the luxury of comforts of a private room to the tune of $50 million dollars, which we cannot afford in this economy.
I support a “no” vote on the hospital bond.
Richard Wagner, M.D.