Letters to the Editor

Allow the public to vote on proposed hospital

As a member of a group calling itself Citizens for Island Health, we have met with the Hospital District No. 1 commissioners and what was initially the health care collaborative group that evolved into the San Juan Community Hospital Committee on a number of occasions, trying to modify the efforts of Mr. Kunkel, Mr. Anderson, Dr. Edwards and PeaceHealth to create a critical access hospital for San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1.

PeaceHealth has proceeded to usurp all the discussions on what we need or want in the way of a critical access hospital and our Hospital District commissioners have agreed to support their efforts without any further input from the citizens of San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1.

We have been told that this is such a great deal and we are getting something for nothing. Philanthropists will put up $10 million and PeaceHealth the rest and they will use our tax dollars and funds from selling the present Inter Island Medical Center to support this effort. The citizens of San Juan Hospital District No. 1 will not have to put up any new funds into this project.

Why are the commissioners and the San Juan Community Hospital Committee unwilling to let the people of San Juan Hospital District No. 1 (San Juan, Brown, Henry, Johns, Pearl, Speiden and Stuart islands) vote on this proposal?

The San Juan Community Hospital Committee has spent more on lawyers and advertising pushing for this project than a vote would cost.

If this is such a great deal for the citizens of the Hospital District, why don't we get to vote on this? What are you afraid of?

Bernie Madoff guaranteed us 12 percent earnings for life and we know where that got us. We never get anything for nothing and a PeaceHealth monopoly of island health care is too important an issue to leave to the hospital commissioners to vote on without a direct input from the citizens of San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1.

Jan Smulovitz MD
Citizens for Island Health Care

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