Guest commentary

Support hometown health care

Hillsboro Clinic and
Hillsboro Community Hospital

Health care has changed significantly over the years. Doctors can easily find themselves practicing “cookbook medicine” governed by insurance companies. Care is divided between many different providers due to health care cost and reform. From what I can tell, these changes are what can give our patients the impression that they are on an assembly line.

I left a large hospital full of protocols and divided care to practice in Hillsboro. In my short time here, I have had the opportunity of a lifetime. I have been able to see the compassion and support of this community.

I’ve seen our clinic staff donate supplies that make a more comfortable environment for patients. The cafeteria has been making link sausage for every meal for a patient with a terminal diagnosis, just because it sounds good to her. I watched the community gather a complete set of diabetic supplies for a patient who couldn’t afford them.

The recent announcement of a new clinic coming to town gives me a heavy heart. Marion County is not the service area of Newton Medical Center, but the service area of Hillsboro Community Hospital and St. Luke Hospital. This primary care clinic would indeed be negative to our community.

The goal is to gain inpatient admissions at Newton Medical Center of offset Medicare cuts, not to come to Hillsboro and form meaningful relationships and support local business. The losses for our local hospitals could be very detrimental.

If lost, the lack of hospital services in our town would be a hardship. A kid with a fever in the evening will turn into a very uncomfortable ride and an all-night affair. One of us may not make it through a heart attack due to the lack of hospital care within 30 miles.

We will also lose the sense of familiarity and become part of the assembly line. The root of health care — care, compassion, and dignity — still exists here in Marion County. I pray that “shiny and new” does not cause us to take these things for granted and lose them.

 

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