Letter: Misuse of emergency rooms threatens neediest patients

January 23, 2013 

In July 2011, I rushed my husband to the emergency room at Kadlec Regional Medical Center. He had been undergoing cancer treatment for 31/2 years, and the disease was taking its toll on his health. He was bleeding and in severe pain.

We got him registered at the desk and proceeded to find a comfortable place for him to rest until called back. A large, extended family of 10 was parked in the available seating and eating while waiting for a small child to be seen by doctors.

It took some doing to get my husband a chair, but finally one person relented and gave up his seat. After listening to their conversation it became apparent that the child was there for a sore throat and came bounding out to the family after getting checked over by the doctor.

While I was angry then, it infuriates me now to learn that many families rely on the ER for doctor visits on a regular basis! What about the urgent care clinics? Primary care physicians?

Why did my husband, and perhaps many others, have to suffer while waiting for medical treatment? Leave the emergency room for its intended purpose: medical emergencies.

JANICE MCINTYRE, Kennewick

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