Last week in the Letters to the Editor section, we were given two diametrically opposed opinions regarding the value of voting for the hospital district levy, Proposition 1.
We had three doctors on the island say that we could not afford to lose local access to basic health care. We also had the opinion of George Wright, the mother of Kelly Wright, who happens to own Vashon Natural Medicine, a private-for-profit medical clinic here, writing that all we need to do is call 911 if we have anything we think is an emergency. Give me a break. We can’t expect to be rescued by calling 911 every time we have a health issue.
I would be more inclined to believe the doctors who know first-hand what we are dealing with here on Vashon. George Wright wrote about how easy it will be for islanders to quickly get medical care off the island. She gave average times for reaching health care facilities in Washington of about 28 minutes. It takes me 25 minutes to reach either ferry, it requires at least a half-hour wait time or longer at the dock, it will take at least 10 minutes to get anywhere on the mainland and then you have to wait to get seen.
That is more than an hour if I’m lucky. Suggesting that this is an easy fix is plain wrong. Our island is full of elderly people — people who are just squeaking by financially, and we have our share of people with disabilities. How easy will it be for these folks to get care? How easily will it be to use telemedicine to have blood or urine testing analyzed?
The island has to vote with its conscience and do the right thing. Don’t assume another clinic group will come in to take over after others have found that they ended up being hundreds of thousands of dollars in the red and left. If we want another full-service health care provider, we will need to vote for the hospital district in November.
— Gini Harriman