At approximately 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, I entered Ashe Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department, I had been experiencing chest pains since waking up that morning.

As I suffer from atrial fibrillation, even though the pains were mild, I followed my doctors advice to get treatment immediately. I was placed in an examining room and attended to by an efficient and caring medical staff at once. Blood work was ordered, an EKG was performed and I was then taken to imaging for X-rays.

After receiving the results of the various procedures a CPA explained to me in detail the source of my symptoms and I was relieved to find out I did not have a heart attack. On arriving home I realized it was roughly two hours between the time I left for the hospital and when I got back (I live approximately 12 miles from the hospital).

This brought me to thinking about negative publicity AMH has received and how most of it is unjustified, much of it is false and some of it is downright lies.

The fact is if the ED is inundated with patients, as sometimes occurs, there is insufficient staff on duty or call to deal with the situation, this is a circumstance about which the medical staff has no control. Any complaints about slow reaction in the ED should be directed to the hospital administration who unfortunately have to defer to a higher power whose concerns are cost.

The fact is, as long as long as the organizations that control our health system have to make money over and above their operating costs, this kind of situation will continue to exist throughout this state and the nation. The “nonprofits” have to cover the salaries and expenses of their company officers and directors.

The for-profits have the same demands to meet plus dividends for shareholders. As long as we have a health system that requires that insurance companies, big pharma and health organizations should be permitted to make huge profits this situation will continue to exist.

If you want to change the present situation you can do something about it in November. However, if you fail to get out and vote and prefer to cry in your beer afterwards things will remain the same.

I omitted to mention the names of the wonderful people who attended me to avoid causing them any embarrassment, but they know who they are, and guys I love you.

Mike Sawyer

West Jefferson

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