Letter: Hospital island residents treasured now long gone

Editor,

We used to have our own little hospital here on Whidbey Island. It was simply Whidbey General Hospital — and it was ours.

Our property taxes built it.

But where has it gone?

For us who’ve had occasions of need that put us there, it was like being treated as family.

Over the years, letters to the editor extolled the gratitude folks felt about their experiences there.

What’s more, many were surprised to learn they could deduct their hospital bill from their annual property taxes.

Those days are gone.

Whidbey General is no more. It’s been taken over by sophisticates who changed its name, looks, operation and its character, and now we who get the bill are expected to pay up and shut up.

That became even more clear at the recent public meeting held by the hospital board. It was attended by so many people that one commissioner told the crowd to quiet down and quit talking loud amongst themselves.

I was there with a neighbor friend and we heard interesting things from “crowd talk,” many of whom were hospital employees themselves. It seems that the take-over sophisticates were being described more like “so-‘fist’-i-crats.”

What’s more, our pockets have been gouged to pay the takeover’s leader a gratuitous six-figure salary to do the carnage. And if that’s not enough, they want to further loot our public trust funds to give her a whopping goodbye gift.

How many of us are blessed with such extravagance? And just what do we get for our money?

The neighbor with me told of taking a friend with a bursting appendix to the exalted new facility and waiting six hours for her friend to be seen. During that time she wasn’t even able to get a warming blanket for the friend who was in severe pain.

When help did arrive, the doctor who performed life-saving surgery critically asked “why her friend wasn’t brought to him sooner because she was only an hour or two from death.”

Sadly, this is not the only sorry-story being told by we who are to shut up and pay the bill.

I recall one letter writer telling about one of the new hospital’s orthopedic doctors sending him home without even examining his severed thumb tendon, saying that it would heal itself.

He got himself to Providence in Everett as quick as he could where it was properly stitched.

Not long ago, he showed me that he now uses his thumb again.

A retiring Whidbey General doctor told my wife to go off island for any other needs like what he had performed.

Al Williams

Oak Harbor

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