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Hospital Closure Protested

The hospital in Massachusetts that was the issue the other day in The Coming Challenge post below was Westborough State Hospital in Westborough, Massachusetts. Now I need to set the matter straight. I certainly don’t want to give anybody the slightest impression that I am for keeping this hospital open.

This comes up every time a hospital is threatened with closure. Employees have a great deal to do with why there are still state hospitals in this country today. You may think that hospitals revolve around their patients, but this is a mistake, they don’t revolve around their patients at all. They revolve around their employees. When they close, the concern is always about loss of jobs and revenue for the local economy.

At this one, employees have a union, and a group of employees and family members protested yesterday. That’s the other group hospitals benefit, families. These families, after all, got rid of the problem or burdensome member of their clan.

My point is this—you never see mental patients or ex-mental patients protesting to keep a hospital open. Hmmm, I wonder why that is? Maybe it has something to do with forced treatment?

This matter is also about losing the employees earlier rather than later you are going to lose anyway when you release some of these patients back into their communities. Release enough patients, and, of course, you will need to get rid of some employees, too.

The hospital was slated for closure in 2012. This protest is over a plan to accelerate this closure. A new hospital is being built. It opens in 2012. The new hospital will be in Worchester. Get it?

Personally, I wouldn’t build a new hospital. I would put all my money into prevention and community resources instead.