Hospital shouldn’t be attacked

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yelling “fire” in a crowded theater is against the law, and for good reason.

Inciting panic unnecessarily is awfully close to a form of terrorism, at least in so far as it infiltrates and undermines the peace.

Last week a simple letter, copied to several groups, was tantamount to yelling “fire” down the halls of Natchez Regional Medical Center.

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The beleaguered, publicly owned hospital doesn’t need any more rumor and mud slung at it.

The fact is that the hospital has been horribly mismanaged, which led to its recent cash problems.

For a pdf of the letter sent to Scott Phillips, CEO of Natchez Regional, from Dr. Mike Wheelis and Dr. Danita Weary from Natchez Community Hospital click on the following link: Natchez Community letter

The hospital’s administrators, hospital board and the county supervisors are working to get the place righted and on the road to a bright future.

However, at least to our knowledge, no evidence has been brought forth that the quality of care has ever been compromised, even during the worst periods of financial turmoil.

But the letter, signed by doctors at a competing hospital’s emergency room, alleged that physicians routinely were not staffing Natchez Regional’s emergency room.

For a pdf of the letter of response sent from Scott Phillips, CEO of Natchez Regional, to Natchez Community Hospital CEO Tim Trottier click on the following link: Natchez Regional response

Natchez Regional’s administrators flatly denied the charge.

The mere fact that letter was written more than a week after an alleged instance of no physician present, indicates that chief concern was not patient care.

We’re all in favor of competition, but when it gets in the way of the safety and welfare of our community’s health, enough is enough.

If there’s proof of something going wrong — at either hospital — let’s bring it forward, otherwise, let’s leave the public spitball fight and “fire” calling out of the emergency rooms.

Hopefully then both hospitals can work together to improve patient care, which should be their ultimate, common goal.