Letter: Need for Kadlec's new free-standing ER isn't apparent

June 21, 2013 

So Kadlec's new "free-standing" emergency room is averaging 30 patients a day. That hardly seems enough to keep the doors open, let alone pay the incomplete staff that's trying to care for them.

And I wonder if those who go in are aware of the fact that they'll be in for a 20-minute ambulance ride across town if they need to be admitted. And that's not even taking into account the cost of the ride whether the patient pays for it or the hospital, which will just tack it onto your bill upon discharge.

"Free-standing" ERs may work in the big cities like Seattle. But in the Tri-Cities you're always close to one of three real hospitals.

And early next year, when Kennewick General Hospital opens its fully staffed new facility, it'll be the only hospital in the state with immediate access to a major highway (rather than having to wind your way through city streets). So keep that in mind when you find yourself in need of immediate medical care. You can go to an orphaned ER with nice landscaping or a full-service hospital where you'll find the best and most complete care for you and your family.

BILL NELSON, Prosser

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