After reading yet another lengthy discussion of the issues in the obvious inadequacies of health services in this town (see “County nears hospital decision” July 11, 2019) with of course no agreement or resolution, the answer is staring us in the face.

Sacred Heart has offered to provide Apalachicola with professional management of our health care. It sure as heck has not been in evidence, either medically or financially, by local management. Tallahassee’s ‘hands-off’ approach speaks for itself.

Sacred Heart has the expertise to determine what equipment ($) and what services need to be local, and what can be provided with a short shuttle to Port St. Joe.

Urgent care can start at a facility in Apalachicola and quickly be determined if there is a need for more comprehensive treatment at Sacred Heart hospital. It is a 20-minute drive going the speed limit, probably no more than 15 in an emergency situation.

Sacred Heart has doctors, and likely could rotate some number of them to Apalachicola, one day a week at most for any one doctor, to cover the demand and dictates of need (Mayo does this with all of their facilities outside Rochester, Minnesota).

Apalachicola does not have, and never will have, the population to support a “hospital.” Clearly to many a clinic sounds like too little, but a hospital is simply economically infeasible.

What’s in a name? The facility could provide some urgent care, some routine health care needs, limited equipment and visiting specialists, as can be justified, and some overnight facilities.

Apalachicola Hospital and Health Care Services (Inc.)

M. J. Murray