Hospital change requires trust

Posted: Monday, February 28, 2011

I went to my first Health Care Task Force public meeting Tuesday (Feb. 22). There was a great turnout. We heard from a speaker who discussed the concerns of decreasing reimbursement to hospitals, from government, and other changes in the non-profit market.

There was an opportunity for public comment. I raised some 10 questions, I have asked before. I was encouraged from Task Force members that these questions should be answered. There was some discussion concerning my question surrounding the term "Certificate of Need."

It was at the end, I realized, many on the Task Force do not have a clear understanding of the issue. I heard members say how the community does not want change. How the people want "things to stay the same." Members stated how the people must realize, if we do not change, the hospital may not economically survive.

I am not convinced the primary issue is opposition to change. The public and I lack the trust in the process of the change. The Task Force only needs to look to last summer and fall to understand why the public lacks the trust in the process.

In my 40 years in health care I have experienced the changes of the past. I agree the economic future in delivery of care is again changing significantly.

The Task Force's first step should be re-building trust in the community with the CPH management team and CPGH Inc. Board. Given past experiences I am not sure it is possible.

Ray Southwell, RN; Nikiski

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