From the pages of
The Sublette County Journal
Volume 5, Number 20 - 1/11/01
brought to you online by Pinedale Online


by Rob Shaul

I feel sorry for the men on the Sublette County Rural Health Care District Board. I honestly do.

First, last November, they take the courageous and unprecedented step of terminating the contract at the Pinedale Clinic with Dr. Glas.

By December, they think they've found a great doctor, Judy Boyle, to take over as Medical Director, and here in January, it's possible the contract with Dr. Boyle will fall through over $30,000 in medical supplies and office equipment.

The Board's stuck. If they buy Dr. Glas' equipment and give it to Dr. Boyle, they risk angering Dr. Burnett because he didn't get the same deal. Plus, they will break one of their own policies - not to buy office equipment for the doctors.

But if they don't and they aren't able to work out a compromise with Dr. Boyle, the county could lose a great doctor to another rural community which will supply her with a turn-key operation.

Right now, I'd lean toward some type of incentive program where Dr. Boyle would pay less for the supplies the longer she stayed at the clinic. However, if she makes providing the equipment and supplies a deal breaker, I'd have to urge the Board to choke down the cost and keep a known quantity at the Pinedale Clinic.

I also feel a little sorry for them when it comes to thePinedale EMT contract. It seems the EMTs are questioning their own proposal, and the Board will need to work with a change in leadership.

On the other hand, the Board's primary responsiblity is providing 24/7 emergency health care coverage for county residents. It doesn't do anyone who's hurt any good to have a doctor ready and standing by at one of the clinics, only to die waiting for an ambulance. Our ambulance services must be treated with the same importance as the doctors and the clinics.

Monday, I was disappointed by the Board's lack of action or even progress on the Pinedale EMT contract issue. The Board can say they're waiting for the Pinedale EMTs to come back with another proposal, but if in the meantime the ambulance doesn't show up for someone who needs it, the accountability falls on the shoulders of the Health Care Board.

It needs to exert some leadership here and quick. I agree with the EMTs. July will be too late. Some type of contract needs to be in place this spring.

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