Emergency room closure is not acceptable

To the editor:

It is irresponsible not to balance the budget. Let’s take a peek at how to balance a budget. It isn’t rocket science, it is really quite simple. First we must really and truly want to do the proper and moral and correct thing. We must banish greed, and lust for power and fame. We must not spend more than we earn and we especially must not spend more if it is not actually our money but money that is entrusted to us by others. Also, a little money should be put aside to carry the burden of the budget through unexpected hard times. That is it. That is the whole thing! It really is easy, isn’t it?

OK, what if the emergency room operation budget does not balance? Well, emergency care is very expensive, but all that means is that we have to charge more. In the past, our local super MDs, Dr. “Fritz” Decker, Dr. Herb Bergamini, and, lets be sure to include, Dr. George Hart — and many, many others — passed the hat to the community and everyone chipped in. The community response in no time not only bought a nice little local hospital — a hospital that, by the way, saved all of my family members’ lives — but also created an endowment that insured that the community hospital would survive hard times. Wow!

I do not know what happened. Adirondack Health came along, the community hospital has been destroyed, and a glass and stone monument has been erected with pools and a gym, lots of fancy architecture and a debt that threatens to close the emergency room.

Excessive debt is not good economics. Emergency room closure is not acceptable medical practice. What should be done is simple. Adirondack Health should reduce its debt created by the construction of the monument that replaced the original community hospital. Income should be increased to match the emergency room’s operation expenses. The proper, moral, and correct thing to do is to stop operating at a loss and begin to earn what needs to be spent for emergency services plus a little more so that an endowment will be available for use during hard times.

Not balancing the budget is unacceptable management and the loss of emergency services is bad medical practice. We need someone to correct these major deficiencies.

Paul Gutmann

Lake Placid

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