Letters to the Editor

Health care in Hilton Head area needs help

The Feb. 11 article on “concierge physicians” quoted me correctly on my disdain for that type of primary care. Having been a medical and hospital consultant and professor in ambulatory care management for 55 years, and working with clients in every state of the nation, I know that our community is thoroughly suffering from many problems in primary medicine.

The word requirement does not allow me to write on the many issues and problems doctors face, but the patient is the bearer of the burden. Blame can be spread in many places, but focus on the private insurance industry, government and myriad other factors.

The day of the traditional doctor is over. The days of concierge physicians, and especially hospital-contract doctors, are here to stay.

The public does not know the real issues. Few understand universal health care, making it only a political issue. In fact, health care is the most critical problem facing all of us , because it effects all of us, rich and poor, young and old, forever and ever. And no one, especially here, is doing anything about it.

The mayor of Hilton Head Island is talking about setting up a committee to look into all medical costs, especially hospitals (among other local health care issues). What this will accomplish is questionable. I know because I’ve served on many such panels.

This is a nationwide problem and as long as we have insurance and pharmaceutical industries bleeding us dry, nothing is going to change. It will probably get worse. If you can’t afford the above physicians, you’ll probably have to obtain your care from a nurse practitioner in a drug store. Whoops! That’s already here.

Michael Silver

Bluffton

Go-carts can be welcome addition

I hope this letter may help clarify David Lauderdale’s Sunday column about Broad Creek Marina’s proposed go-cart business. Mr. Lauderdale neglected to address several important points.

First and foremost, the carts would be battery powered, as quiet as electric golf carts. Secondly, the location, adjacent to the existing Zipline operation, would be invisible to anyone outside of that property. Ironically, current zoning would allow indoor go-carts, with their construction of a big, obtrusive building for this activity.

Zoning ordinances need the flexibility to evolve and keep pace with technological advances. This operation could conceivably even be solar-powered and thus have a near-zero carbon footprint.

In terms of noise pollution, we have chainsaws, string trimmers, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, stump grinders, etc., but we won’t allow quiet go-carts? The island’s N.I.M.B.Y. attitude (“not-in-my-backyard”) could prevent this well-conceived business venture from providing a much-needed, youth-oriented activity.

As a final thought, this same business would likely be quickly permitted just off the island. Were that to happen, it would just add to U.S. 278 bridge congestion. Hilton Head Island will never become another Myrtle Beach. We simply lack the land mass and beach frontage. So relax, Hilton Head, and let’s have a little fun.

(For the record, I am 55 years old and would love to “race” quiet, electric, eco-friendly go-carts.)

Troy Conner

Hilton Head Island

Medicine should not be boutique

I would like to commend you on your series of articles on local medical care.

I am a retired primary care physician and would like to add my thoughts on “concierge medicine.” I agree with another retired physician quoted in the article who, like myself, seems to view the “boutique” system as inherently immoral and money-grubbing. My own philosophy is that any physician involved in that type of practice is more interested in accumulation of wealth rather than his or her patients’ interests.

Clearly the Hilton Head area is fertile ground for this avarice, as there is a ready supply of elderly wealthy individuals willing to be self-indulgent.

This ultimately leaves a large portion of the population, who are not in the 1 percent, or like myself have an inherent aversion to physicians involved in this form of practice, without adequate primary care.

One thing worth bearing in mind for the patients of the concierge doctors is that they have such a limited practice that their exposure to variety of illness is likewise very limited, and in consequence their skills could become diminished.

Keith Sale

Hilton Head Island

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