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Letter: Health care not limited to only area hospital

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Robert Cox


Received: Feb. 23

In response to the article on the front page of The Republic on Feb. 5 titled, “Unwanted Rival,” Mr. Bickel called the Franciscan St. Francis expansion “predatory,” an outrageous statement. His statement was very unprofessional.

Why does CRH/Mr. Bickel think that they have an exclusive right to health care in this area? Could it be because they have bought almost every medical practice in town and have basically formed a monopoly on local health care?

Furthermore, this organization has done everything possible to expand into surrounding communities and portrays that this action is perfectly fine. However, it becomes an issue if another organization follows this example.

I think that CRH and Mr. Bickel have forgotten that when the hospital was closed due to the flood of ’08, many surrounding community hospitals opened their doors and welcomed CRH patients and medical staff into their care. Now, CRH is upset because they have no arrangement or partnership with St. Francis, according to the article.

I say, “So what, get over it. It’s none of your business what another organization is doing.” The ambulance service of CRH costs the local taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars when the same service could have been provided by other organizations at no cost to taxpayers. Whatever happened to competition being a good thing?

It’s time for the residents of Columbus to have a choice in their health care providers. After all, patients have their own best interest in mind, not what is best for the hospital’s interest. More options would give the community an opportunity to compare services and costs.

I think the community should welcome Franciscan St. Francis to Columbus, and I for one will do everything possible to ensure that its move to the area is a successful one.

If Mr. Bickel and CRH have any reservations about whether or not St. Francis doctors would be allowed to admit patients to the hospital, then I would advocate that Franciscan St. Francis not only open a clinic, but a hospital locally as well, in order to provide additional medical services to the area.

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