Letters to the Editor

Some reasons for doctor shortage in Hilton Head area, nation

I recently read with interest your coverage of the physician shortage on Hilton Head Island. While I understand the Lowcountry has a specific interest in Hilton Head, I thought the reporting was shallow in that it made no effort to discuss the nation’s overall growing shortage of family practice physicians, nor the reasons behind that shortage.

You could have mentioned the cost and discipline required to become a physician, the frustration doctors deal with obtaining preapproved procedures from insurance companies, or maybe even the fact that Medicare’s level of reimbursements to doctors for office visits do not cover their total cost.

It’s no wonder that the country is developing a shortage of family physicians.

But worst of all, blame is being placed on some doctors moving to a concierge practice, with the implied and sometimes stated view that it is all about money with these physicians.

But maybe it’s because they have had it with caring for thousands of patients and the administration that takes. Maybe they wanted fewer patients so they could spend more time with each of them on appointments. To state the view with such confidence that it’s simply the money that pushes doctors to a concierge practice shows a lack of understanding in today’s complex medical world.

To all doctors, whether you practice in a hospital, are partnered with a hospital, are in private practice or take care of patients in a concierge practice, I say thank you.

Charlie Bussey

Lady’s Island

You can’t stop the flow of liquor

I thought dinosaurs have been extinct for thousands of years. But I was wrong. One of them is in the S.C. House, Rep. John McCravy, R-Greenwood; and the other is a Southern Baptist Convention representative, Joe Mack.

Both were at a House hearing on Jan. 31 participating in a debate over a proposal to allow liquor stores to be open on Sunday. They “decried liquor as a danger to public health and safety,” you reported.

Mack told the panel that “(t)he more liquor we serve, the more problems we’re going to have.” This is the same argument advanced 100 years ago by proponents of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution that prohibited the sale and possession of alcohol in the United States. The Amendment was a spectacular failure, leading to its repeal in 1933.

The idea that some religions should impose their beliefs about alcohol on others represents a delusion. People are going to drink alcohol. Period. Laws don’t stop them; they only make it more inconvenient.

“Bible Belt” states are considered “backward” and “ignorant” by many people. If we want to be a popular tourist destination in the 21st century, let’s not start enacting stricter laws regulating liquor sales.

Or, if we really want to redo the 18th Amendment, I suggest placing signs on Interstate 95 and other major highways warning people that they may be entering an Alcohol-Free Zone.

Terry Gibson

Lady’s Island

Lock ’em up

I would like to hear a unified voice in Washington, chanting: “Lock ’Em Up! Lock ’Em Up!”

To be clear, I am not wanting this directed at any one person for sexual misconduct or campaign violations. Rather, I am referring to Congress as a whole.

I think the Catholic Church gathers all its cardinals and no one leaves until they select a new Pope.

Why not sequester Congress and tackle border security, infrastructure, immigration reform, balanced budget, social programs, term limits, or any top priority with the instructions that a no one leaves until the job is done?

Everyone in Congress seems to blame the other guy in the room for things not getting done. Let’s keep them all in a room until that changes. As voters, we hold the key to the lock.

Gene Schraeder


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