Each time this has come up for a vote, Tri-City has put a different spin on the concept. The first two times it was to build the "Taj Mahal" of all hospitals while making the requisite earthquake improvements, and those propositions were soundly defeated by the voters. Now, Tri-City has hit on a mail-only ballot and telling everyone it's only for improvements and not for the original showplace. And that none of the money will go to administration. Hmm, I think my cat even wouldn't hit the yes button if it were filled with catnip on that ploy!
We all know there is a supposed budget and if you place the money that was supposed to go to building maintenance and other physical plant activity in abeyance as it's now being handled by a bond passage, that money will be diverted somewhere else. So, in reality the facts are that they could really not be using the bond money for administrative issues, but can divert other monies that would normally be used for the buildings to that purpose anyway. In short, the voters get screwed in any case.
There is no question an expansion of TCMC is long overdue, perhaps if only to shore up the earthquake solidity of the building, and serve the burgeoning illegal population that overruns the ER daily, but that's not the question. TCMC should be building and funding with its own money. The last I noted it is not a institution or hospital owned by the state, county or any municipal entity, nor is it a military or VA facility. It's a private not-for-profit hospital that seems, for some reason, to forget that balancing a budget does not happen while loading the pockets of it's top heavy administration. They keep getting huge salaries, voting themselves even more while crying about the needs of the hospital. Add to that the questionable practices of handling the massive pass-thru ER masses, and the unreimbursed free care to illegals and uninsureds and you can see where this is headed. No amount of money is going to fix their problems if they don't fix their internal problems first!
You've seen all the TV advertising and, the paid advertising in the North County Times of course. Guess why? Rather than face the people of North County in a Proposition on the ballot, like is usually done, Tri-City is sneaking a $589 million dollar bond measure mail ballot into your mailbox surreptitiously in the hope you'll:
- a. vote for it because you're tired of hearing about it
- b. toss the vote away and only those in favor will vote for it
- c. vote for it based on all the hype you'll hear over the media
Better still would be:
- e. Dump the bond measure, dump the current board, TCMC sells to a private not-for profit health care consortium and grows as the hospitals in Orange County have with no tax dollars involved.
Unless you have money to throw away and like being taxed over and over again, VOTE NO on this Proposition A. Don't be fooled into thinking your healthcare will suffer if you don't give Tri-City your money. The proponents try and make you think you'll be dying on the sidewalk without this tax increase, but that's not the case. There are other hospitals and frankly, when Tri-City's ER is jammed, often other ER's are almost empty. That's because of the type people using the ER there as their family doctor and clinic. A recent article says they're trying to push the people to use the community clinics for follow-ups, but that doesn't work for the first visit, nor does it work when there's nobody to drive the patient until after working hours. TCMC will still be jammed. Funny how some other hospitals don't have the same problem.....
Finally, TCMC is NOT a bad hospital in any sense of the word. There are great people there doing great work. The problem is simply the administration, from the top down! In my humble opinion, they hire based on level of incompetency in many areas, and that inspires lackadaisical attitudes and incompetency which is supervised by more of the same. The "worker bees" who do the great job at TCMC are on the short end of the stick every day, and many grow tired of feeling beat up by the system and eventually leave, taking with them expertise, experience and abilities that just are not easily replaced. Thus the revolving door policy that has become the norm in so many areas, making for low morale and people having to double up and do the work of others who either cannot or just will not work. Unfortunately, management either turns a blind eye to these problems, or just doesn't care in some cases I guess. Poor management is a trickle down disease and contaminates as surely as any biohazard in the healthcare setting, or any other for that matter. It's contagious and very difficult to eliminate once it takes hold. It must be eliminated at the source before any regimen of control becomes effective.