Editor, The Independent:
I have written the following letter to Memorial Healthcare President/CEO Brian Long. “Recently, I had an appointment with Dr. E. Alawa. Before seeing the doctor, I was notified of changes that are now in effect at all facilities associated with Memorial Hospital as they are now outpatient departments of the hospital.
“Simply put, this change allows Memorial to charge the patient a fee for usage of the facilities. The extensive handout it was given listed the ‘advantages’ for the changes.
“I remember reading in the newspaper in the not so distant past that Memorial was given awards for being the ‘most wired.’ Great, but now I’m supposed to believe that extra costs are to help ‘enhance our electronic health recording capabilities.’ Aren’t the hospital, doctors and labs already integrated, as they are part of the wired Memorial system? Doesn’t Memorial receive grants because of the nature of the demographic community it serves? Yet the hospital needs more money.
“It seems that if one receives Medicaid there is no out-of-pocket cost, but if one has insurance, Medicare, or a combination of the two, the cost of doing business is passed along to those who are already paying the bill for everyone!
“I’ve been a fan of Memorial for years due to the quality and outstanding care I have received. I have been thankful for this local hospital, but this recent realignment seems to be no more than a way to increase revenue for Memorial. If the hospital is in need of additional funds to remain open, I would rather that you and the board of directors would simply let patients know the facts resulting in a fee for usage of site facilities instead of pages of ‘corporate speak’ to make me, the patient, think that this will allow for changes to make Memorial a greater health care facility. I’m not buying it!
“This is not a good ‘pr’ move for the hospital. I am very disappointed and concerned that I will experience further costs in the future during your tenure.”
Julie Halsey, Vernon