As a physician with years of practice experience as well as experience and certification in quality management, I firmly believe that the Tri-Cities will be much better served with two hospitals.
The presence of a competitor encourages hospitals to maintain utmost quality not only to attract patients, but first-rate physicians. The competition is especially helpful in the areas of customer service. How long is the wait in the emergency room? (It is only going to be longer with just one hospital). How timely is your appointment for an X-ray?
With our growing population, we would soon need an extremely large hospital if we only have one hospital. At large institutions of such size, interaction between the physicians on staff becomes less integrated; an individual physician will know only a fraction of the total medical staff members, and may not know the best qualified physician on staff for your particular problem. Having both KGH and Kadlec helps decrease costs, increases quality and customer service, and maintains more convenient access for everyone in the community.
For Kadlec to continually attempt to thwart the efforts of KGH to upgrade their facilities demonstrates a disregard for the best interest of the people of the Tri-Cities.
-- LEONARD DREISBACH, Kennewick
For the community
First it was Kadlec hospital, then Kadlec Regional Hospital and now Kadlec System, which is a "for-profit company" whose executives are paid generous pay and big bonuses. One of their tasks is to kill the competition -- Kennewick General Hospital, by engaging in "an Enron-style" raid of the competition.
KGH was built by the community, for the community and of the community and is generally managed by some "unsophisticated" members of the community?
Further, KGH is in the heart of Kennewick population and it is easy and fast for the patients to get there quickly without traveling the highway to reach an "outlier" hospital. It saves lives and money. It also serves a bigger chunk of "uninsured"-- in the ER and absorbs bigger losses. On the other hand, the outlier Kadlec may not see many "uninsureds" as they are far away and incur lesser losses and more profits for their pockets.
Driven by greed and not the patients care or community welfare, the Kadlec executives are engaged in an unethical practice to destroy the KGH. I lived in Kennewick for 17 years and watched this drama.
1. About 10 years ago, Kadlec enticed KGH into "a bogus merger" proposal, which was voted down by the community. If the merger had gone through, KGH would have been history.
2. Again about 10 years ago when KGH wanted to expand from 70 beds to 100 beds, Kadlec executives were there in Olympia, hell bent to block its expansion license.
3. Later when KGH wanted to move its operation to the Southridge area, Kadlec was putting roadblocks though their catchers in Olympia.
4. More recently, when KGH is constructing the new buildings at Southridge, again Kadlec is there to stop by querying how the financing was done. It is none of their business.
This is a free marketplace where people want a fair competition and not cannibalistic game like the Enron case in California (2000) and the Wall Street financial crisis of 2008 driven by greed.
Again, Kennewick population is increasing rapidly, it needs more hospitals and not a monopoly.
-- V.S. PILLAI, Kennewick
I'm confused, and somewhat dismayed, at the continuing conflict between Kadlec and KGH and their expansion plans. It's my understanding that the primary contention is over expansion rights in the newly growing Southridge area in Kennewick, which is near where I live. I've received services from both hospitals over the years, as have other members of my family. While their sources of funding differ, I believe they both have valued contributions to our choices of health care.
That said, I see that Kadlec is planning to build an ER across the street from Southgate Elementary. It is more important to me that Kadlec respond to concerns of increased traffic that the ER will likely bring and that the safety of the students there is assured, than I am that they protest the construction of the KGH Southridge facility.
The hospitals serve the community, albeit in different ways, and conflict should never obscure that focus.
-- JONATHAN PRATT, Kennewick