YOUR FEATURE RANT ON the only public hospital in the District, D.C. General Hospital (“The Curse of D.C. General,” 12/9), was loaded with ignorance and barely disguised bigotry toward black and poor people. Bill Gifford went out of his way to describe the hospital and the patients in the worst possible terms. You would think that private hospitals don’t deal with patients that are sick, under arrest, injured, mentally ill, or dying.
Yet many of his strange disparaging remarks were not supported by his dry facts. He even criticized DCGH for not overcharging patients!
Gifford’s main problem was that he isolated DCGH and failed to show the big picture. We should be outraged that there is enforced separate and unequal access to health care in this country.
Public money directly and indirectly subsidizes the schooling of all medical staff, and the operations of private hospitals. Isn’t it scandalous that they can then exclude treatment of uninsured, Medicare and/or Medicaid patients, and even dump them on an overburdened public hospital?
Why didn’t Washington City Paper criticize the granting of building permits to the private hospitals, and the opening of new doctors’ offices in the well-insured western half of the District, while the eastern half with the most uninsured residents remains vastly underserved? Instead you want to close D.C. General Hospital, located in Southeast.
Why aren’t you outraged that our society tolerates worsening poverty, decreased life expectancy, and higher morbidity for poor people, while the economy grows and the rich get richer?