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UM medical system needs to eliminate waste and corruption to provide the best care

University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) officials Kristin Jones Bryce, VP for External Affairs, John W. Ashworth III, Interim President and CEO and Donna L. Jacobs, Senior VP for Government and Regulatory Affairs speak to the House Health and Government Affairs committee Saturday in Annapolis. (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun Video)

I am puzzled by the letter written by an Eastern Shore resident who praises the treatment provided by University of Maryland Medical System (“Don't rush to judgement on UM medical system board problems,” Apr. 5). The Sun has provided extensive coverage concerning the medical system board, but I have not read anything negative about the quality of the delivery of health care the system provides. Marylanders should be proud of the high quality care provided by the first class hospitals in our state.

We need to sustain this high level of care by ensuring that funding is available for the new treatment modalities becoming available on a regular basis. In order to ensure the continuation of high quality health care we must eliminate waste and corruption. The state needs to develop a better set of regulations so that wholesale corruption in Maryland hospitals is eliminated. We need to re-evaluate how board members are selected, and we need to root out conflicts of interest. The bloated salaries of hospital executives must be significantly lowered. Corrective action is required, and I hope that The Sun will continue to monitor possible corruption and misspending as the boards of the various hospitals have failed to perform due diligence over a significant period of time.

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In order to keep Maryland's hospital system healthy we must find leaders who will show the determination to change the business model and root out graft and corruption. Integrity and ethical behavior will be required. We need to be fair to taxpayers and bring down the inflated cost of health care so that taxes and insurance premiums are based on services rendered. The scandal at the University of Maryland Medical System should put all Marylanders on notice that we cannot assume hospital executives and board members will do the right or ethical thing. Transparency and accountability must be the way moving forward if we wish to continue high quality and affordable health care in Maryland.

Edward McCarey McDonnell, Baltimore

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