Letter: Include chopper in lease proposal

By Ernest Askew

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Here’s something the Pasquotank County commissioners should consider as they ponder who to partner with at Albemarle Hospital. Duke University Hospital, Durham Regional Hospital and Duke Raleigh Hospital have achieved magnet recognition. Duke Raleigh Hospital and selected units of Durham Regional Hospital and Duke University Hospital have been recognized by the North Carolina Nurses Association with Hallmarks of Healthy workplaces.

Do you think they could bring that excellence to Elizabeth City? Only if we change the way things are being done around here.

And since I enjoy giving advice, why not, if we are going to fly patients away for treatment, make sure the lease proposals for Albemarle Hospital include a fully staffed and equipped emergency medical helicopter stationed right here at the hospital?

As I have said before, competition will always take you to the top! If we have three hospital corporations — Vidant Health, Sentara Healthcare and Duke LifePoint — competing for the lease, someone is going to hold down costs by making Albemarle the most efficient facility and producing the best product, which is health care.

Elizabeth City


Full agreement

George hit the nail on the head. Keep the money locally, a helo is a waste of money vs useage. Albemarle Hospital does not require to fly patient to real hospitals enough to justify basing a helo locally. The $7500 George sited is a bit high. The actual cost is closer to $1850 just to start the engine. Then the hourly cost of flight, plus the aircrew, plus the air miles cost, plus the absolutely rediculous insurance cost. Then factor in upkeep, inspections, etc. Now you have to consider if insurance will pay. Also where is this aircraft going to be based. they can't keep it on the helo pad at the hospital. That would require additional cost to upgrade. Lastly there are specific rules that need to be followed before they call for a helo. So the 20 minute flight to Sentra would cost approx $6800, and the return trip would have to be absorbed by the hospital. The best thing to do is leave the chopper out of the contract. use the money to hire "real physicians" and support clinic's then the need to transport patients to a real hospital would not be necessary. Problem solved.

Funny letter shows how out of touch people are

Funny letter. First off Duke LifePoint is not Duke Health and will never be anything close to Duke Health because it is a very poor relationship between the two. It amounts to LifePoint using the Duke name for marketing. That is why it is based out of Brentwood Tennessee and not Durham. Do you have any idea the cost associated with helicopter service? Just the helicopter is over 7 million and each individual emergency run costs an average of $7500! Money that could be best used to hire actual doctors that could flush out more available services. Lastly, you think the company that pays the most is going to hold down the costs to us? If they hold down the costs then how do they get reimbursed? No, that only works when you have direct competition, which generally doesn't happen in semi rural hospital medicine.

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