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Focus on the hospital

Posted: November 19, 2008 10:39 p.m.
Updated: November 20, 2008 4:55 a.m.
Tom Pedersen's letter to the editor and cartoon (Nov. 16) were right on the mark. The Signal's editorial is a misguided encouragement of a master plan that is based upon erroneous assumptions. Mr. Seaver's pronouncement "that it is now or never" is an outright scare tactic with no basis in fact.

The real question, and the problem is, that Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital needs to be expanded.

This is not accomplished by building medical office buildings. What surgeon is going to relocate to a "center of excellence" when he has no operating rooms in which to perform? Build the hospital first!

All of the ancillary functions, such as imaging or non-surgical procedures, do not need to be performed or located "on campus."

Why do we want to cram medical office buildings in the heart of a residential area when there are multiple locations within a few miles of the facility? The answer is "follow the money."

Who stands to profit from this expansion? G&L Realty. Why locate the buildings "on campus?" The land is nonprofit and is not taxable. When does the hospital get expanded? The public is not supposed to question the financial arrangements, only the environmental impact aspects. The impact to traffic congestion and deterioration of the neighborhood aesthetics are well known but are justified in the overall "good" that the additional medical office buildings will bring to the community.

Bunk! The hospital can be expanded without three additional medical office buildings and associated parking lots. It is obvious that the "follow the money" imperative leads to the support of certain City Council members. I have always believed in the integrity of our elected officials and hope this belief is not misplaced.

I ask each council member to request that the master plan be resubmitted with the hospital being expanded first and the recognition that multiple medical office buildings are not required or desired in a residential neighborhood.


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