Privatizing hospital jeopardizes public services

Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2010

Public service is essential to providing basic human rights to everyone regardless of income. The cornerstones of public service are education, health, and public safety. Each community has a moral obligation to guarantee these services. Privatizing Central Peninsula General Hospital will jeopardize this basic service to the citizens of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Private hospitals have the right to refuse service to anyone who does not have health insurance and since CPH is the only hospital in our community, if it was to become private, what is stopping the new investors from astronomically raising the rates of their services without competition?

Regarding the current trend of public hospitals taking on private investors it sounds like, in most of those cases, the hospitals were in dire financial trouble. That simply is not the case for CPH. I was born in this hospital 35 years ago and both my children were born there. All I have seen is progress. We have made many trips to the emergency room within the last 15 years as my son tends to get himself into trouble, twice this summer for ATV accidents. I was amazed at how efficient the ER staff is and how much more advanced the technology has become. In fact my son was one of the first patients in the brand new orthopedics wing. CPH looks very healthy to me.

I personally would like to thank all the community members that spoke at the Sept. 7 Assembly Meeting against the selling of OUR hospital to an out of state investor. I think we made it clear that the people own this hospital and we as a community will decide what is best for its future.

Carrie Henson, Soldotna

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