The Coastal Post - January, 1997

PIETRO PRATL

Steve McNamara, the venerable publisher of the Pacific Sun, has been a Marin positive force for years. Not long, Steve, in place of a lucrative cigarette ad, left blank a large ad space and announced that he would rather forego revenue than accept cigarette advertising. Bravo!

We call Steve's attention to the Marin General display ad run December 18-23. The Sutter organization hospital told you in that Pacific Sun ad, "...every dime we make goes back into providing the highest quality health care." If Steve read that ad, he knows how deceptive it is. Siphoning patient revenue to corporate headquarters in Sacramento does not translate into highest quality health care.

"It means we take care of all Marin residents regardless of ability to pay." Not true! The pay for a Short-Doyle funded psychiatric patient is $297/day. This is a global fee to cover all care costs. Steve, telephone the psychiatric unit at MGH and ask how many patients are Short-Doyle. The answer will be easy: none. Ross Hospital a for-profit psychiatric hospital, accepts them but bed availability is limited. So those Short-Doyle patients who cannot get into the local for-profit psychiatric hospital are shipped out of county for care. Sorry, Steve.

The entire MGH ad is misleading and fuzzy. The same ad appears in the Marin Scope papers and the local Gannett daily.

Alas, standards are not too high in the local media.