Letters to the Editor

June 18, 2014

Letters to the editor on Wesley ER staffing, VA blame game, GOP support for schools, gun control

What an unpleasant shock to read that Wesley Medical Center gave its emergency room staff members an ultimatum to join vendor EMCare or lose their jobs (June 11 Business Today).

Maintain success of Wesley ER staff

What an unpleasant shock to read that Wesley Medical Center gave its emergency room staff members an ultimatum to join vendor EMCare or lose their jobs (June 11 Business Today).

Wesley has been the only ER and hospital our family has used for decades. We always regarded it as the best in Wichita. We found the medical staff was highly trained and came through well with our serious medical issues.

Our concern is that the administration at Wesley, locally and at the parent company, seems to want to discard the success of the current Wesley ER medical team’s patient care services and replace the staff with EMCare folks. The latter seemingly would be new to Wichita and need to be trained to operate efficiently in the Wesley ER. It would seem finances are dictating Wesley locally and at the corporate level, rather than patient care needs and relationships.

All of us in the area need to contact Hugh Tappan, Wesley’s president and CEO, regarding our concerns with this ultimatum and the possibility that medical care will be compromised for patients if the administration follows through with the plan. We don’t feel comfortable when we view our dependable Wesley ER medical staff starting to break up as they pursue positions elsewhere.

And how will patients know how to choose a medical facility, including an ER that does best medical practices in the greater Wichita area? It is most unsettling.



End blame game

My husband, an army medic during the Vietnam War, has gone to the Robert J. Dole Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Wichita since 2008. He receives excellent care there. His experience is nothing like what we’ve heard about in the news. His wait time, either for an annual checkup or for surgery, is reasonable.

He was assigned a primary doctor when he first enrolled as a VA patient. He still sees the same doctor, who calls in a specialist when my husband’s health needs require it. My husband’s drugs come in the mail on time. VA personnel return his calls when he has a question.

The VA has seen an influx of wounded veterans as a result of two wars, one the longest in U.S. history. One’s heart goes out to those veterans and to those who care for them.

Our representatives and senators should end the blame game. They should fund veterans’ health care at the same rate they have funded the wars that produced veterans’ need for health care.



Question rationale

I was disgusted when I read that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis and teacher unions have been “ranting,” running a “smear campaign” and telling “slanted” half-truths in regard to Gov. Sam Brownback and Republicans having an agenda against education in Kansas (“Slanted version,” June 12 Letters to the Editor).

Supposedly the truth is that by taking away due process from teachers and forcing school districts to shift their taxing capability in order to get the operational funding they need, legislators have returned such matters to the “local level.” This is apparently their pat, politically face-saving explanation for why they took away a teacher right (that had been a state statute since 1957) and have underfunded public education (while giving corporations tax breaks for funding private education scholarships).

You will hear this again and again from rubber-stamping Republican legislators between now and November – with no further explanation to accompany it. Be sure to question them about their rationale behind this decision.



Low-cost deterrent

If a poll of the present and potential criminals and terrorists were conducted on the question of more or less gun-control laws (that all but the law-abiding ignore), it is obvious that 100 percent would be in favor of more and stricter regulation. On the other hand, if stories were to appear in the media telling of women shooting the external plumbing off of attackers (whether fact or fiction), history shows that there would be a remarkable drop in rape attempts.

The real and demonstrable benefit of reasonable and appropriate gun ownership and concealed-carry permits is not that they allow victims to defend themselves, but that they very greatly increase the risk to the criminal. It would probably require several million police personnel patrolling the areas to have the same deterrent effect as the existence of permit laws at the federal level. Federal laws authorizing “stop and frisk” in crime areas would be a similar low-cost deterrent.

Considering total costs of capturing, convicting and imprisoning criminals, crime deterrent laws would save the taxpayers many billions per year. We need rational reasoning before regulations are written, not afterward.



Twisted passion

A lot of gun enthusiasts seem to derive their twisted passion for firearms from conservative icons like John Wayne, Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood. Listen, fellas – let’s not confuse fact with fiction. I like the Three Stooges, but I don’t think that gives me the right to roam the streets throwing cream pies in people’s faces. I think the statement that “an armed society is a safe society” is so dumb that even Larry, Curly and Moe wouldn’t buy it.



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