I am heartened to learn that Havre de Grace city representatives have reached a firm consensus that a suitable alternative must be available when Harford Memorial Hospital closes.
I feared at first that the misguided views of some outspoken citizens and representatives might confuse city leaders with the erroneous belief that a so-called comprehensive Hospital is what is suitable. But it must now be clear to every understanding that we do not now have in HMH a comprehensive Hospital, for the simple reason that it has not retained those characteristic as health care practices and technology have evolved beyond the capacities of these facilities.
This is important to me, for we purchased our home near HMH in the expectation that it would provide ready services upon which we could rely the need arising. We quickly learned that despite a superb hospital staff and excellent, stabilizing emergency facilities, every major procedure that we have needed required transferring to Hopkins, UM, or Upper Chesapeake.
For this reason, I believe it now critical that we take steps to reinforce our emergency and ambulatory capacities with updated facilities, which will have the advantage of securing long-term substantial health care right in Havre de Grace and also the potential for growth into fuller service in the out years.
The danger we face is that HMH will close with NO replacement, and that decision making about our health care will pass forever from the hands of the local community into the regulatory grip of regional or state actors.
No responsible office holder in our community will wish to be the cause of so sad a fate!
Havre de Grace
The writer is a member of the Board of Directors of University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. Editor