Upset with PHD article – letter

In your editorial on Nov. 30, you encourage us to be informed news consumers and to contact you if one of your stories is not fair or balanced. This is encouraging since the coverage by the media of the recent election has convinced many that our media outlets are not balanced, do not fairly present both sides of an issue and in the case of print media use page one as an extension of the editorial page.

The Journal’s article “Hospital District approves PeaceHealth amendment” is a case in point. It is unbalanced, challenges our credibility, and abuses the English language. Most importantly, it fails in its basic duty to inform the reader about the importance of the Public Hospital District’s action.

The article is unbalanced because your correspondent did not solicit comments from Peace Health or from both Commissioners who voted not to approve this amendment.

It abuses the English language. Did Commissioner Mark Schwinge really say that the hospital is not financially stable to lose subsidy funds?

It challenges our credibility. Why does your correspondent accept the odd assertion that the commissioners will decide which services to fund at later meetings? Did the three commissioners really put PeaceHealth on the ropes without having decided what services to fund? And are we to accept that the $50,000 reduction in the subsidy paid to Peace Health will have zero impact on its provision of services to our community?

It fails to pursue obvious questions that when investigated could help to truly inform the readers. What is the amount the PHD currently transfers annually as a subsidy to Peace Health? Is it the commissioners’ intent to use the $50,000 to fund abortion services? If so, is that decision based upon the political ideology of the three commissioners or a reasoned evaluation of the demographics and pressing unmet health issues of our community?

And finally, the article is simply confusing. Why do you report on funding MedEvac services in this article? It gives the reader the impression that the monies extracted from PeaceHealth somehow relate to MedEvac services which is not correct.

Robert deGavre

San Juan Island