Hospitals, officials gathering to try to save Detroit system from collapse

  1. Detroit leaders are scrambling for solutions to a looming health crisis in the city, where two hospitals are threatened with closure, the ranks of poor and uninsured people is exploding and access to basic healthcare is dwindling.

    Detroit Free Press, May 2, 2003
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    About NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN Moderator

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 27,462; Likes: 13,677
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  3. by   rncountry
    Detroit Medical Center is closing three hundred beds, and laying off one thousand employees, in the Detroit paper's today. DMC is part of Detroit Regional. From the articles some trauma victims may end up being turfed all the way to Ann Arbor to U of M hospital. DMC is the only area Detroit hospital with a level one trauma center. It is interesting to note that Regional just put Dr. John Swartz on it's board. Dr. Swartz was a Michigan Senator until this year, and could not run for reelection because of term limits here. He was the one who put together nursing scholorships for Michigan that just passed last year and are in grave danger of being scrapped this year because of budget shortfalls. The best thing I can say about Swartz is that he is grand at talking out of both sides of his mouth, and makes a grand politician because of it. One thing he said that was worthwhile, DMC is seeking money from the state to help, but last year they had a fund with $222 Million in it and now only $36 million. He says that unless they are willing to open their books and practices to the public, they should not be allowed any state hence public money. It's also worth remembering that DMC is part of a 8 hospital systemt that had the Hunter Group go through it about 4 or so years ago, and they made horrid cuts to staffing and resources. One nurse from Regional was arrested after being found in a dumpster stealing discarded IV poles from another facility because Regional was so low on them.
    The issues have a great deal to do with how many uninsured and patients that the system is not being reimbursed for, but some of it has to do with poor business practices as well. While nurses and ancillary staff were being laid off, top management pay was increased and the millions were paid to the Hunter Group in less than 30 days for their consulting work.
    As it stands now Detroit is underbedded, but now they will lose another 300 beds out from the only facility that is a level one trauma center. I wish I could say that wouldn't affect care, but unfortunately for Detroit it most certainly will. The whole fabric of Detroit is unraveling. The state is in court to take over the school system, the Major is in political trouble, under investigation by the state attorney general. In truth Detroit has never recovered truly, from the riots in the late 60's, massive layoffs from the car industry in the 70's, and repeated graft and corruption of public officials. Having gotten lost in the bowels of Detroit once several years ago I can testify to the fact that there were burned out, rusting hulks of cars that had been there since the riots of the 60's. As a very small town girl I can't tell you how shocking it was to see some of the things I saw there. Since then I have made a point of not going to Detroit unless I was flying out of there, or going to Windsor. Speaking of which, probably a good third of the nurses in Detroit are from Windsor. To see this happening at DMC is heart breaking. At one time, they dealt with so many gun shot wounds that the military sent their docs there to learn how to deal with gunshots. Even 9 years ago when I worked at Sparrow in Lansing I had an agency nurse tell me that it was not uncommon to have vented patients in the ER for days because they didn't have enough beds at DMC, and now they are closing more.
    Healthcare should not simply be a business, I find this kind of thing morally repugnant.
  4. by   jnette
    You go, RN Country !

    Excellent post, and thank you for the info you provided and the clarification. It is sad, indeed... repugnant as you said. I sit here and shake my head...nothing else to add.