Letters to the Editor

This is ‘our’ hospital — vote for improvements| Letters

Editor,

I’ve been employed at Whidbey General Hospital for more than 20 years. If I’m a friend of Whidbey General Hospital, it’s not about passing the bond to keep my job. It’s about living and working here, and making Whidbey Island my home.

Is it too much to hope that where we live and work also be one of the places to get great health care?

This is not a first aid station, it’s a hospital, even if it’s old—and a place that does so much more than pass out Band-Aids.

We’re like the Skagit Valley bridge  —  functionally obsolete.

We’re meeting minimum requirements, working with what we have to stay ahead of the curve while government-mandated equipment fills the small rooms.

Sure, we can keep working with what we have, wait an indefinite time until we’re “financially stable,” or wait for our collapse.

Would we do this to the schools? Schools need to be maintained and upgraded, and I vote “yes,” even when I don’t have children going to them.

The same thing applies to the hospital. We’re laying the groundwork for generations to come. I want what Anacortes has, I want what Everett has, but we won’t get it by ignoring what every community needs, the infrastructure of a great hospital.

How can we attract good doctors and specialists when we let our hospital fall to ruin? Sure, we have visiting cardiologists, skilled orthopedic physicians, and wonderful cancer specialists.

I don’t want to be sent off island for nearly everything else.

I keep hearing how everyone wants private rooms, but is that the real reason? What I want is a hospital that can give me the services I need, which includes specialists and services that don’t require transport to another hospital.

I want to stay close to home, and if my hospital room is large enough to have friends and family visit, so much the better. I hear you saying the same thing.

Please believe that $60-$100 per household is worth the investment. There are plenty of rural hospitals that have had to close their doors as larger organizations gobbled up the smaller ones.

Merging with another larger hospital isn’t off the table, but this shouldn’t be a fire sale.

We have a unique challenge because we’re on an island. When everything falls apart around you, you won’t be trying to catch a ferry, or dashing over a bridge before it’s closed, you’ll be standing in line with your neighbors at Whidbey General Hospital for minor wounds or delicate surgery — a place that’s still standing and is in demand.

Don’t let this hospital collapse due to apathy, of believing that someone else can take care of it while you seek medical care elsewhere.

This is our hospital — yes, we still have one, and it’s right here.

Deb Crager

Oak Harbor

 

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