I’m writing in response to Doug Perry’s letter expressing his understandable frustration with the closing of the MaineGeneral Diabetes and Nutritional Center (“Shame on MaineGeneral for closing diabetes center,” March 2). I share it. I must point out that in today’s world, running a hospital is hardly a big profit maker. They give out huge amounts of free care; billing Medicare and MaineCare and the insurance companies doesn’t mean they get paid in full — they don’t, and they suck it up.

No community hospital has “many other areas” to go to for the shortfall, as Perry suggested. Right now, hospitals are taking the hit just as we all are. These are agonizing decisions for any hospital to have to make. As long as our health care system continues to be attacked and the problems are not addressed realistically, I expect we will continue to see more closures like this. MaineGeneral is the canary in the coal mine, and the more people there are who have to pay out of pocket for care, and who are unlikely to be able to pay in full for that care, it will be just another loss for the hospital — they won’t be turned away.

The profit model of medical care is never going to put the needs of patients and caregivers over their own bottom line and that of their stockholders. That’s where a huge amount of the health-care dollar goes, paying the insurance companies and the exorbitant prices companies charge for “medical equipment,” never mind the huge profits of drug companies.

Everyone gets their share of the health-care dollar, except the people involved, patients and caregivers.

Bea Cox


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