Northwest NEWS

June 5, 2000

Editorial

Why the holdup?

   That was a rather fascinating front-page article in your May 29th issue, titled "Duvall Considering Evergreen Annexation."

   The significant part was Evergreen Hospital's director of community relations saying that "a certain amount of analysis will have to be done by Evergreen staff" relating to public opinion, benefits to the hospital district, and costs involved in the proposed annexation to effectuate what would be the hospital's eighth clinic, per the list in the news item. Such analyses must already have been done for the earlier clinics, so it shouldn't be hard to process the information for Duvall.

   I and others would be interested to learn how the property assessments for the various clinics compare to those of us in the hospital's original district and whether the local-clinic collections completely cover not only clinic building costs, but also operations and maintenance, as well as related administrative overhead back at the main hospital. It would be interesting to know whether existing clinics are performing as well as anticipated and how actual costs stack up against initial estimates.

   It would also be nice to know whether the hospital clinics have harmed the business of private physicians in their areas and how much overlap there might be with services provided by taxpayer-provided Emergency Medical Service and King County health clinics.

   Actually, since the Weekly article says the Duvall process has been ongoing for the last 10 months with a fall ballot target, the analysis should have been done already. Why the holdup?

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville