I am a retired physician, having practiced medicine for 45 years, 30 of those in Idaho. Additionally, I have had extensive experience as a patient in hospitals both in Idaho and other states. I have watched with sadness over the years as health care in America progressively became more expensive and less adequate so that now the World Health Organization rates the USA as 37th overall. The May 11 edition of The New Yorker states “An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is harming patients physically and financially.” One of many causes for this is the unbridled mega-million dollar hospital expansions without independently verified needs, which will be paid for by the citizens in the form of increased taxes, increased charges, increased insurance rates and more medically unnecessary care. Overall, in Boise, this may well have a greater impact than the closure of Jefferson Street.
Perhaps, rather than simply relying on St, Luke’s own undoubtedly biased evaluation of their expansion needs, and in light of the current state of health care in America, a good expenditure of public funds might be an independent, unbiased evaluation of the actual local medical needs now and in the future.
R. Dennis Davis, M.D., Boise