Letters | Valley residents want, need a new hospital
September 21, 2012 · 11:30 AM
This is in response to Herschel Backues’ letter “Hospital issues” published on September 12.
In his letter, Mr. Backues stated that the president of King County Hospital District No. 4 explained why the District needs a new hospital “using the same old, tired arguments to justify the $100 million expense.”
The capital cost of the new hospital facility is approximately $38 million, which is set in stone. Cost overruns, if any, will be borne by the developer as per our agreement.
Our patient volume of over 21 is constrained by the size of our current facility, which has only 14 inpatient rooms, forcing us to double up patients when we can. In the event that a patient needs to be isolated, all of the beds may not be utilized. The new hospital will have 25 rooms, making it possible to utilize all 25 beds at any given time.
We will also expand existing services and update technology, including the emergency department, lab services, imaging and diagnostic services and accommodate an enlarged primary and specialty care clinic.
The hospital district is primarily supported by non-tax revenues. The new hospital will be entirely paid from revenue, not taxes. The new facility will not change the current tax rate of 50 cents per thousand for residents (only $15 per month for the average home).
It is evident from the increased patient volumes that Valley residents want and need a new hospital.
Isn’t it time to put the “same old, tired arguments” to rest?
Rodger McCollum, Superintendent
King County Hospital District No. 4