Letters to the Editor

Excessive cost of health care is nothing to celebrate | Letters

On the subject of PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical center reaching their one-year anniversary and celebrating a series of “firsts” let me be among those, of presumably many, in relating my own experience of firsts with the new face of medical care on San Juan Island.

The first of having my daughter treated for a hot water scald on her arm and paying $610 for some aloe and a bandage.

The first of having my son receive a brief medical exam and paying $350 for the privilege.

The first of having my wife speak to a doctor and receive a blood test and being hit with an invoice of $878.

And the first of having a small shard removed from under my fingernail, which took three hours and four separate Marcaine injections for a routine nerve block, while the actual removal took two minutes, followed by a bill for $998, 50 percent of which for the numerous Marcaine shots that left my hand numb and useless for two days afterwards.

As someone who works construction, and as a parent of two children I have had numerous occasions to visit the old IIMC for care. Yes, the floors were cracked linoleum, the walls needed another coat of paint and the lighting was harsh fluorescents, but you left there after being treated satisfied that you were not being outrageously gouged by the cost of medical care, alas something I have yet to experience at Peace Health.

So congratulations PIMC CEO Jim Barnhart on your $30 million hospital, with the wonderful art on the walls and the gorgeously landscaped grounds in joining the exalted company of the island grocery stores, gas stations and ferry transport in making San Juan Island an increasingly unaffordable place to live and work.

You must be awfully proud.

Declan Place/Friday Harbor



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