2012-04-20 / Letters

Don’t Blame Government For PHC

Dear Editor,

Please Mr. Ribet! Your letter to the editor last week would put the blame for the closing of PHC on “our government ... cutting Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements (while) your payroll and expenses keep rising.”

You then go on to blame “our Federal, State and City government elected officials did nothing to stop the killing of this hospital.” You also state that you were a former (long time) board member at PHC. Mr. Ribit, you listened to the reimbursement excuse for too long. PHC, while a not-for-profit institution, must operate much like a for-profit institution, as all such entities, to meet the day to day, year to year challenges to management.

While the web site of PHC, and the literature, continues to proclaim that the hospital is a “173 bed teaching hospital,“ you surely know that it has been many years since the census on any given day was much above 100, if not closer to 80 in recent years. Four administrations ago, the then administrator, Irwin Langer, often expressed his frustrations that Peninsula Hospital got only 1/3 of the patients who needed in-patient care; 1/3 went to St. John’s and 1/3 left the peninsula.

If that was recognized thirty years ago, what did PHC do since to gain more market share? Good doctors, the life-line for survival, continued to leave PHC. You cannot, Mr. Ribit, blame government for “killing the hospital” when management has to take it’s share of the blame considering that other hospitals, also not-for-profit, do a better job of operating as for-profit institutions.

Beside the loss to our community, the closing (short term we hope) impacted too harshly on so many good workers.


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