Friday, August 29, 2008

Hospital Money

I've been in Wisconsin for a few days, first attending a business conference, now visiting friends and celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary.

I went for a run this morning, through our old neigborhoods in Green Bay. We lived here for 7 years, and it was good to see what had changed and what had not. One thing that I noticed is that health care businesses seem to be taking over. I have been vaguely aware of this in New Hampshire as well, and I suspect it may be a universal phenomenon. While making my way up Webster Ave, I noticed a marked increase in the number of buildings that are now dedicated to various aspects of health care. In this town, they are all associated with Bellin Health, Aurora Health Care, St. Vincent's Hospital, Prevea. Now, granting that Green Bay is a regional economic center, I suppose you could make a case that 4 major hospitals (in a city of 100,000) are not overkill. Nevertheless, in the 2 mile stretch up Webster Ave it felt as though 25% of the buildings now are connected with the healthcare system in some way.

Bellin Hospital in particular stands out. My children were both born there, and we really appreciated the staff and the way they helped make it such a wonderful experience. I was surprised to note that, in my absence, they totally remodeled the front entrance. This inolved some major demolition, and the construction of a very nice driveway and entrance. I am told the lobby is also "really nice." I'm sure it is.

I am not opposed to profits, but I had to wonder, what is up with that?

And the main question this all brought to my mind is, "Are we all really healthier for all this healthcare?"

Not so sure.

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