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Letter: Hospital care

I read with interest the article “Timeline of a Stroke” in Baystate Health’s spring advertising supplement, carried recently in The Recorder. It’s the story of a Deerfield woman for whom prompt treatment at Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s emergency room was crucial to her subsequent nearly-total recovery from a stroke.

Readers may not be aware that BFMC has received awards and recognition for its excellence in treating stroke patients and is designated by the Massachusetts Department as a Primary Stroke Services Hospital. We can all be thankful and grateful to live near such an excellent institution.

Given all this excellence, I was surprised to read that the Deerfield woman was transferred to Baystate in Springfield less than 90 minutes after she arrived at BFMC. She spent the next nine days in Springfield, before being transferred to a rehab hospital for two weeks.

This story raises questions about the accuracy of statements by Chuck Gijanto, president of BFMC, who insists the hospital’s nurses are not truthful in warning us that service at BFMC is being curtailed for reasons of profit in Springfield.

Mr. Gijanto, I’m not asking you to violate patient confidentiality, but I’m sure, given all the details in the article, that if the Deerfield woman’s case was unusually complicated and beyond the capabilities of our local hospital, the article would have let readers know of the special care she received at Baystate.

Tell us, please, who benefits when a patient is whisked away from familiar surroundings, making it difficult if not impossible for family and friends to bring comfort and support? Why should we not believe that Baystate Health is willing to use Franklin County patients in the interest of corporate profits? How long will BFMC survive financially if Baystate Health drains legitimate revenue to satisfy its own financial interests?

I’m eager for a response.



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