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Medical care and the free market

July 14, 2007

Re "Hospital group rejects system and cashes in," July 8

I would like to inform Dr. Prem Reddy that healthcare is an essential service similar to fire and police services, not, as he says, like eating and clothing preferences.

Also, as a doctor, he should be aware that not everyone has the ability to pay for such services.

As Dr. David Goldstein says, Reddy's business model totally ignores the medical profession's responsibility to care for all patients equally. In my opinion, this model has turned into corporate greed.

NANDA SENATHI

Hermosa Beach

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How Reddy can call himself a "healer" is beyond me. His prime focus seems to have less to do with healing than with profit.

Rather than any kind of healer, he appears to be a businessman who just happens to be in the business of healing. The fact that he's also a cardiologist is even more amazing because it's obvious that this man has no heart.

STEVEN REICH

Santa Monica

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I was surprised to find no mention of Chino Valley Medical Center being in bankruptcy before Reddy's Prime Healthcare Services Inc. came to its rescue and turned it around to be a premier community hospital.

Prime Healthcare Services did not cancel managed care contracts at Chino Valley Medical Center; those were rejected by a U.S. bankruptcy judge.

The company's commitment to keep the emergency departments at its hospitals open with the least amount of closure is commendable given porous borders and increasing numbers of illegal immigrants and uninsured patients.

I can vouch for the independence and autonomy of medical staff. Management assists the medical staff in discharging duties more efficiently to improve patient care outcomes.

Chino Valley Medical Center and Montclair Hospital Medical Center operate free community clinics that treat poor patients.

Prime Healthcare Services' commitment to supporting these free community clinics that serve the poor and uninsured is commendable.

JAMES M. LALLY

Chino

The writer is president and chief medical officer of Chino Valley Medical Center.

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Great story on Reddy's empire. I agree with Reddy's theory of "entitlement mentality," where healthcare service should be based on a patient's pocket size.

But by the same token, I would also like doctors to refund my money if I am not satisfied with their services. Just as Reddy says, food and clothes are not the same for everyone. If the merchandise is of poor quality, I can always return it, can't I?

Fundamentally speaking, this country's healthcare system is broken, and Reddy is just making hay while the sun shines.

GAGAN AHUJA

Cypress

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We may all owe a debt of gratitude to Reddy, whose nausea-inducing level of greed may well hasten the day when our country adopts a single-payer healthcare system.

ELEANOR J. MICHON

Glendale

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