|In a blistering rebuke of the self-proclaimed “Patients First” coalition, voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly gave their continued support to the four incumbents of the Hospital District board of directors. This vote-of-confidence will allow the Hospital District, its community clinic and its ambulance corps to proceed on a positive path forward.
The five Patients First candidates (read that “Dogma First”) succumbed to the Sentinel’s call in February for “conservative” candidates who would work to “privatize” our local clinic. At the outset, not the best thought-out plan.
We can understand some voter’s opposition to the hospital district’s status quo. Some simply had a bad personal experience at the clinic, or remain frustrated with the clinic’s struggles to retain doctors, offer more services, etc. Some, though, are simply beating the anti-government, politically regressive drums. We encourage the Patients First candidates and their supporters to turn that scowling fear-and-loathing energy into something positive – take an EMT class, actually attend some board meetings to better understand the intricacies of rural health care, volunteer. You’ll feel better about yourself, and your community will potentially benefit.
Regardless, our voters realized that the current board of the hospital district and its staff have done a fairly remarkable job of doing all that is possible to bring decent and affordable health care to our rural community. Is there room for improvement? Certainly. And they’ll continue to work to achieve those improvements.
Our clinic and ambulance corps remain important institutions in Custer County and we can be thankful for their professionalism, dedication, and future vision.