Sunday blog: Perhaps it’s time to officially make SRMC a municipal hospital

first_img Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (28) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. -2 Vote up Vote down Tired Taxpayer · 272 weeks ago Government run health care. You have a very novel idea there Cue! 🙂 Karl Marx tried your idea of government run health care. It didn’t work out so good. Time to sell the hospital to an independent company. Report Reply 1 reply · active 272 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down Larry · 272 weeks ago Well you can change the name and do whatever they want, but it is still going to be a money pit. The people of Wellington need to decide what they want and that is whether to have the hospital or not and if yes is the answer live with the cost of supporting it. I live in a small town south of Albuquerque and we have no hospital. It is on of the fastest growing areas in the state. The closest hospital is in Albuquerque that is 25 miles away. It doesn’t seem to bother the people here not to have a hospital that close. They did have one here when I moved here in the early eighties and it close because of a lot of the same problems the SMRC is having. People moved on and it has seem to work. Report Reply 0 replies · active 272 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Nonya · 272 weeks ago I totally agree!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 272 weeks ago +13 Vote up Vote down Hmmm….. · 272 weeks ago Nail hit on the head! None of the other city buildings pay utilities. The relationship between the hospital and the city as I understand it, is the hospital was sold to the city for a small sum when it was St Luke’s with the stipulation that it would be run by an independent board. This board in turn answers to the city council. There for the city is in control of the hospital. Why does the hospital pay for mowing, up keep on the parking areas, pay for utilities, and why is everyone so confused about why the hospital is in a bind? Look at even the BIG DOGS, Wesley, and Via Christi, they to are struggling. All hospitals have taken a hit. Both Wichita hospitals have changed management and cut cost and lost lots of money. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know writing rude and uneducated comments in the news cow may make you feel better but won’t solve any problems. By the way if you are soo concerned about the hospitals situation pay your bills, use it and there is still an open position on the board, fill it. Report Reply 2 replies · active 272 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down craig · 272 weeks ago We are going to see a lot of families leave Wellington over the next few years. People avoid this tax-happy city now… and for good reason. We have problems that are not, and have never been, adequately addressed. Report Reply 1 reply · active 272 weeks ago -5 Vote up Vote down local guy · 272 weeks ago Why would the City want to get into the health care business? It is a losing proposition. I have always supported the hospital because I felt it was an important for our community. To some degree I still believe that. I wonder if ALL the doctors in the community maximize all the services that are offered. I would think a referral outside of the community would be a last resort. I would agree that it appears that the citizens want to keep the hospital and the jobs that go with it in Wellington. So do we give them a pass on utilities? Is that fair to other businesses in town? I guess as a citizen I would like to see all the numbers when it relates to our utility fund. How much is needed to keep our rating, how much are we short or long. One question also is how much money goes into that fund each year? Then after seeing that I guess we could determine a plan for the city and SRMC Report Reply 5 replies · active 271 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down resident2014 85p · 272 weeks ago I would like to know how much of the money that has been pulled from the utility fund was specifically used to fund the hospital and the percentage the hospital support was of all the money pulled from the utility fund. This community in the past has indicated that they want a hospital by passing a sales tax that supports the hospital. Hindsight is 2020 but at the time I thought it was a mistake to not renew the hospital tax that expired. Also, we just passed a sales tax for the hospital so why did we not pass a sales tax high enough to support the hospital including utility bills. I think we should let the community decide again by passing another sales tax that this time is enough to support the hospital and not have to take out of the city general fund. Also, this would allow the entire community to support the hospital and not just property owners (through mill levy increases). This will then decide if we want a hospital by voting to fund it and it would be provide clear cut accounting on where the money is coming from and going to. Report Reply 0 replies · active 272 weeks ago +16 Vote up Vote down Rick Clift · 272 weeks ago When will city council members realize this is more hospital then this city needs. Cut the size and the cost in half. Anybody that needs anything serious done that is not an emergency is going to Wichita if they value their life. Please reconfigure this white elephant and make it what it should be an ambulatory, emergency and baby delivering facility. Report Reply 0 replies · active 272 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down No one special · 272 weeks ago I’m not against a city run hospital. I mean it’s not much different from an other business. There is supply and demand, equipment and buildings to upkeep and employees to pay. Each department has a budget, the city council and administration should be able to figure out how to work together to make it work. At least then they couldn’t play the blame game. I do think that the hospital is city owned and we should now stop talking about the utility bill. Report Reply 0 replies · active 272 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Guest · 272 weeks ago If you are comparing Wellington Hospital to the Wichita Hospitals you have a problem. Report Reply 0 replies · active 272 weeks ago 12Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Can anyone tell me the difference between the Sumner Regional Medical Center and, say, the Wellington Fire and Police Departments?Yeah, yeah. I know the fire department is there to put out fires and deliver sick people. The police department is in charge of throwing bad guys in jail. The hospital is there to fix our boo-boos and keep us from dying.But essentially, all three institutions do the same thing— provide a community service unlike any other city department whether its utilities, the park department, etc.So why not make SRMC a municipal hospital and stop this us vs. them mentality?At Tuesday’s Wellington City Council meeting, SRMC was getting hammered over not paying for city utilities. In a nutshell, it was one government institution hammering another governmental institution about the amount of taxpayers money they were not receiving from the other.(see story here). It is obvious this system of billing SRMC for utilities isn’t working.Utility non-payments are nothing new for SRMC. I remember writing a Wellington Daily News article in the late 1990s or early 2000s when the hospital was not even 10 years old, about the city abating utilities for the hospital. As outlined by Wellington City Clerk Shane Shields Tuesday, SRMC has had utility abatements for 27 of the last 60 months and hasn’t made a payment since Oct. 2013.Through it all, the council has been a good friend to the hospital. But that seemed to change Tuesday night.If you just dropped in from a planet from a galaxy very far away last week, you would have thought SRMC and the city were suddenly at war. The council has been a great friend to SRMC through the years. But Tuesday seemed like a spitting match – a battle of wills. Grant you this wasn’t the prevailing attitude of all the council members — Kelly Green and Jan Korte were the exceptions. But there was enough animosity elsewhere to make SRMC officials concerned.And I can’t help but think, that such a sudden adversarial attitude toward SRMC had little to do with changes in hospital board practices, as it is the sudden financial bind the city of Wellington has itself in over the utility reserve fund.Perhaps we need to restructure how this monolithic government is working on the local level.The city is fussing over the hospital not paying its utilities. But the police and fire departments don’t pay their utilities either except for items like natural gas which is outside the city of Wellington umbrella. Do I think the SRMC board is derelict in its duties? No. If we were living in the town of Sunnyvale, Wonderful where we live in bliss and harmony, I’m sure the SRMC would pay those utility bills like every other institution. But, unfortunately, SRMC is fighting a war of bureaucracy both federally and statewide. The battles SRMC are fighting are unique to them and rural hospitals across the state.Here’s a solution to the utility crisis. Close SRMC. Then the city will no longer have to worry about utility bill payment. Problem solved. Let’s start a new chapter in Wellington history.But this isn’t what the people want. Every sales tax referendum that has been presented to the Wellington voters has passed by overwhelming margins. We are talking approval in the 70 percentile. People want a hospital, and if Wellington is to grow and sell itself to others, having adequate medical facilities are essential.People ask me who owns the city. I’m not sure. SRMC has a CEO, who serves under a board of directors appointed by the city. The board submits meetings of minutes to the city council on a monthly bases. SRMC CEO Leonard Hernandez comes to a council meeting every month to issue a report. Two City Council members serve on the hospital financial board – who by the way are Green and Korte. It seems SRMC is only independent in name only.Like it or not, the City of Wellington and SRMC are in a long-term marriage.So if you are married, why not sleep in the same bedroom? Bring the hospital in much like the fire and police department.Former council member John Brand made a point a few years back that he had worked in a community for which the city managed the hospital. He said it wasn’t a good situation for which the city manager was running the show and expenses were filtered through city hall.I’m not suggesting that. I’m thinking more under the lines of how the Wellington Recreation Commission is set up for which it is a separate entity but still is under the supervision of USD 353 and the city of Wellington.Korte made the point Tuesday night that things are getting better at SRMC. They are fighting a war, and are almost winning. The city needs to give them time, she said.Whether you believe that or not, what other alternative do we have but to give them time?If SRMC is fighting a war for survival, doesn’t it behoove us the city to Wellington to supply the ammunition to win the war?Perhaps, a merger one for all, and all for one, may be the best solution for this community.Follow us on Twitter.last_img

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