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Staff Cuts at Hospital

August 23, 1986

I read with much interest the article by Andrew C. Revkin titled "Nurses, Doctors Decry Respiratory Staff Cut" (July 27).

Being a certified respiratory care practitioner and a longtime member of this community, I feel compelled to write my feelings concerning that bold cutback on respiratory care at our one and only trauma facility in this rapidly growing community.

It appears to me that a lot of people at the hospital are quick to put the blame on government (state and federal). Basically, all the government is trying to do is slow down the ever-increasing cost of medical care, which in many cases has come about by abuse of the system. All hospitals, doctors and other health care providers must cope with that situation.

Let's look at just what Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital is. It is a charitable, nonprofit hospital. Being nonprofit, it does not pay taxes and enjoys nonprofit mailing rates. Much of its medical, surgical and diagnostic equipment has been donated by businesses and private individuals. It has a building fund to which employees are urged to contribute.

Look at the things the hospital has going on in the community: outpatient treatment centers, family practice centers, pharmacies. And doesn't it have an interest in a home health care conglomerate? Has it recently broken ground to build a nursing home? Let us not forget that the land to build the hospital on was donated by a land and farming company.

My big question to the management of the hospital would be, "Why not cut some of the businesses outside the hospital and maintain a well-staffed and well-equipped hospital?"

To the fine nurses, therapists and others affected by the drastic cutback, I sympathize with you. You would be more secure and treated more fairly if you were represented by a union. To the paramedics, ambulance crews and anyone else, I can only say, "If I need to be transported to a hospital, please take me to Holy Cross Hospital, just over the hill in Mission Hills."



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