Source: Sherman Publications

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Letter to the editor

September 12, 2012

Dear Editor,

This Certificate Of Need process for McLaren Hospital is a perfect example of why the government intrusion into medicine or almost anything sacred or personal in the private sector is a disaster. The last two hospitals in Oakland County were "lame duck" decisions by the legislature.

I was chief of staff at the old Pontiac General Hospital when we were going to rebuild it.

I advised the City Commissioners that we had three excellent hospitals in Pontiac and there were none between Flint and Pontiac. I was advised by the City Commissioners that they had lost the courthouse and the airport and didn't want to lose the hospital.

I said you could still own it in Clarkston, Waterford, or even West Bloomfield and it would bring the communities together.

You know the rest of the story, it eventually closed. The CON process should be relegated to the ash heap of history.

In Arizona many years ago, they had several hospitals vying for CONs and they got rid of the process.

The result was that the hospitals worked together and reduced the number of new hospitals to a very few and only when they were needed. We have been privileged to care for our patients in our home and the Care Center for over 50 years.

We want to continue our urgent care for another 50 years and we need and deserve a hospital next door.

With the cost of transportation, traffic jams and long wait times in the ER, it is time for us to have our own hospital here in Clarkston.

Sincerely,

James A. O'Neill, MD

Independence Township