I wonder how many cardiac patients were as hurt as I was to tell our trusted heart doctor that we had to end our relationship? “My esteem for you is exceeded only by my disdain for the leadership of St. Luke’s Hospital,” I told mine. Of course, I could continue under his care, but changing cardiologists at the time of an emergency would probably be a bad idea.
St. Luke’s has engaged in a relentless campaign against its Cedar Rapids and Iowa City competition for years. One result has been paid front-page advertising in The Gazette. Lately, opinion page advertising masquerading as a (purely self-serving) “guest column,” not to mention the misleading promotion as one of “America’s top 100 hospitals.” In reality, the ranking exists only as one of the top 100 hospitals among those which subscribe for the services of the company that sponsors that top 100 program.
All the promotion, competition and aggression only drive up the cost of health care and strain existing resources. The PCI facility and the cornering of medical specialists are only the latest tactics in this unnecessary war.
If I die because the ambulance has to turn left instead of right, so be it. I will die in the hospital of my choice.
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