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posted: 1/4/2013 4:19 PM

More clinics, no new hospital

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Lake County does not need another hospital. Lake County needs more non-emergency clinics and primary care physicians.

Hospital admissions in Lake County are going down but ER visits are on the rise. ER visits are increasing because of the lack of both primary care physicians and clinics.

Many Lake County residents seeking medical attention through ERs are uninsured or under insured. Many uninsured or under insured do not come to the ER until severely ill because they do not have a primary physician or cannot afford the insurance co-pays and deductibles. Likewise many uninsured come to the ER for minor illnesses/injuries because they do not have access to a physician or access to a clinic in a timely manner.

Lack of consistent follow-up care for those with chronic disease/illness can lead to serious illness because of a lack of treatment, medication, and health education. Poor access to health care in Lake County is driving up health care costs and causing our ERs to see sicker and sicker patients.

Hospital admission and serious illness can often be avoided through consistent, affordable follow-up care and education. There should be more clinics to treat chronic health problems for diseases like congestive heart failure, other heart problems, diabetes, and mental health issues.

Health Reach is Lake County's non-profit, non government, primary care provider and sees just over 4,000 patients per year. Having more clinics and primary care physicians like Health Reach would lower health care costs in the long run, allow for better follow up care, help prevent disease/illness, decrease ER visits, and decrease hospital admissions in Lake County.

I vote no for another hospital in Lake County and yes to more outpatient services and disease prevention efforts.

Wendy Callan


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