The Coastal Post - August, 1996

Pietro Pratl

Here I am at the beach. The clunker's battery is dead. It's daytime and not TV time. What to do? Read the local periodicals? What a bore! Why not continue where I left off in July.

Well, I told you that the votes of three elected hospital directors (Dr. Larry Bedard, Valerie Bergmann, Suzanna Coxhead) make it possible for the privatized Marin General Hospital to siphon money to the Sutter hospital chain. Of course, the administrator will do just that. MGH is in fact a Sutter chain hospital. To pretend it's a district entity is a charade.

So MGH is combining services with Novato Community Hospital, another Sutter hospital. Remember when Sutter promised Novato a new hospital? Novato may get one of sorts, a sort of MASH to feed MGH. No obstetrics! Imagine a woman ready to deliver stuck in the morning commute to Greenbrae. She can just pull off 101 and deliver! She can do her part to avoid the "overall negative financial impact of... an obstetrics unit" at Novato Community Hospital.

Then there is the seismic problem at MGH. The old part of the hospital, by current standards, isn't earthquake safe. So, dear readers, stay well and keep out of chain hospitals.