Recently I received a disturbing letter from MaineGeneral Medical Center announcing drastic cutbacks in diabetes services and the near elimination of their long-established Diabetes and Nutrition Center (“Diabetes patients frustrated by MaineGeneral’s decision to cut endocrinology services,” Feb. 17). This both angers and disappoints me. With diabetes such a critical, widespread health problem in our state and nationwide, it is unconscionable that a large, progressive hospital system such as MaineGeneral, serving so many in central Maine, would choose to downsize such a critical health care offering.

I am a retired senior, in my late 60s, with diabetic complications that have left me with kidney disease and visual impairment. For many years I have depended upon the excellent care provided by knowledgeable endocrinologists, physicians assistants, nurse educators, and dietitians at the Diabetes and Nutrition Center to help me better manage my disease.

These dedicated professionals, valuable longtime employees who have invested so much of themselves to diabetes management over decades, have abruptly lost their jobs and are left seeking new employment opportunities in their fields at other health care institutions. What a tremendous loss of experience and expertise. It is not fair to them or the hundreds of diabetic patients that depend on them.

Shame on MaineGeneral. Surely in order to balance the hospital’s bottom line, officials had many other areas to choose from for the cuts. Driving an hour of two to other clinics around the state (information the hospital so generously suggested in its letters) is neither a convenient option nor a consolation for those of use on fixed incomes who have established critical health care relationships closer to home.

Doug Perry

Vassalboro

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