LETTER: Calls on Congress to protect access to healthcare

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor:

On behalf of the medical professionals and compassionate caregivers who provide vital services each day to our patients at St. Vincent’s Health Services, we call on Congress to protect our hospitals and access to healthcare for all Americans. We oppose any legislation that reduces hospital funding or access to critical programs.

At our hospital here in Bridgeport, we help to provide critical healthcare services, treat emergency room visitors, deliver babies, and serve as a major employer to stimulate the economy. Our community relies on the services we provide.

St. Vincent’s Health Services, a member of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health system, is a mission-driven organization committed to serving all people with special attention to those who are struggling. We have served this community for more than 100 years and take pride in the quality care we deliver to our patients in Connecticut.

Last year, we admitted 70,000 people into our emergency department for urgent services. If devastating budget cuts continue – since 2010, $121.9 billion in cuts to hospitals have been approved –patients may not be able to receive the care they need in a timely manner at a time when they may be in need of immediate attention. This significant negative impact on the care patients receive is counterproductive to our goals of improving the health of our community and producing an exceptional patient experience while reducing the overall cost of care.

We ask that Congress not consider any legislation that would reduce funding for our hospitals or change benefits to critical programs. We urge Congress to protect access to the highest quality healthcare for all.

Stuart G. Marcus, MD, FACS

President / CEO

St. Vincent’s Health Services

Bridgeport

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