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Letter: St. Francis proposal hardly predatory for Regional

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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: Sally Van Dyk


Received: Feb. 5

I hate to admit it when I am wrong, but I guess in this case I must. I believed for many years that the main objective of Columbus Regional Hospital (Health) was to care for patients until they were well enough to go home and beyond, if necessary. Apparently, that is not the case. If that was their mission, why would they object to someone coming to Columbus to help achieve that goal?

Franciscan St. Francis Health hopes to come to Columbus to open an office that would house, eventually, three physicians and seven medical assistants. CRH President Jim Bickel calls this a “predatory move on their part.” Predatory move? They are coming to help care for Columbus residents.

Though I know what “predatory” means, I looked it up in Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary just to be sure I was not misunderstanding St. Francis’ intentions. Predatory means: “1a) of, relating to, or practicing plunder, pillage, or rapine; 2b) inclined or intended to injure or exploit others for personal gain or profit.”

By definition, therefore, St. Francis has no intention to come to Columbus to help, to heal or to make well. It intends only to injure, harm and make a lot of money.

Columbus Regional Hospital has enjoyed the position of sole provider of health care in Columbus for many years and, for the size of the community for which it cares, has done an admirable job. Now, the CRH “monopoly” is being threatened by three doctors and seven medical assistants ... an “unwanted and potentially disruptive intrusion.” What they would be, to be precise, is competition. The presence of another health care provider, no matter its size, should prod Columbus Regional Health to even further improve its own business. That is what competition does. FSF would be an “intrusion into the local market.” Translation: Franciscan St. Francis would take money away from CRH.

It seems to me that any business, and, yes, FSF is a business that will make money, that enters a community in order to provide health care assistance to its residents should be welcomed, not attacked by those who see it as a threat.

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