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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Medical Desert

Everyday Riley and I get in the car and travel 100 miles round trip to get his radiation treatments. It takes an hour to get there and an hour to get home. Our appointments are at 7:30 p.m. every evening. We’ll be doing this for about six weeks. It’s a long trip for us and the evening appointments are problematic since I have difficulty seeing after dark. I avoid driving anywhere after sundown. But, it was the only time slot available and the only facility with the equipment needed for the radiation treatments.

It seems that all the medical facilities have become a part of the Vident health care system. Because of that we live in a medical desert. Confused? Well… so was I but I think I’ve figured it out. We had a hospital in our town of Belhaven which served a very large area in the county. But, it was bought by a big conglomerate – Vident – and they closed the hospital doors. Our nearest hospital is 30 miles way in Washington, NC. However, the hospital in Washington is not fully equipped for all situations. Certain medical tests and procedures must be done in the BIGGER hospital in Greenville, NC – 50 miles from our hometown of Belhaven.  OK – so that’s not outrageous for us – but the people who live farther out must travel 75 miles or more, just to get to the hospital in Washington! If you were having a heart attack you could be dead before reaching any kind of medical facility.
One of my readers has created a graphic, as part of a school assignment, which depicts the situation and explains the concept of the “medical desert.” I’ve decided to include it in a post because I REALLY like this graphic and it is an example of an increasing situation around our entire country and not just my little ole home town. Thank you Veronica Russell for making this graphic available for use on this blog. I hope you can read it, but if not, you can find it here: 

1 comment:

Bev said...

Here in Northwest Ohio ProMedica is everywhere. You can't miss them because they have 'crowned' all their hospitals with green neon lights that encircle the entire top of their buildings. We have too many hospitals rather than too little. The one thing we do need desperately are treatment centers for addiction - somehow ProMedica left that out. Hhmm wonder why? On yeah - it's not profitable. (There goes that Cindy gal again!) Terrific job good on the graphic Veronica : D Hope things change for you and Riley Linda. At least for a time slot during the day. Great post : D