Editorial - Mon General shouldn’t halt expansion
Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 08:03
West Virginia University Hospital’s $248 million expansion is in a standstill, thanks to its neighbor, Mon General Hospital.
According to www.wvmetronews.com, the expansion is designed to assist capacity issues. It will consist of a 10-story tower with 114 new beds and would supply up to 750 jobs.
Although the project was announced Jan. 13, Mon General filed for a hearing Monday at 4:15 p.m., the last day in which a party was able to do so.
Mon General claims the request for a hearing is to encourage accountability and to allow the public to comment on the expansion.
Since WVU has no legal right to deny the hearing, the project will now be delayed for at least six months.
If Mon General had two months to request a hearing, why did its officials wait until the last minute? Mon General appears to purposely hinder and stall the project.
Now the process is going to take more time and cost more money, which is contradictory to Mon General’s reasoning for the request.
According to Darryl Duncan, president and cheif executive officer of Mon General Hospital, the purpose of the hearing is to control costs, improve quality and efficiency and to encourage collaboration.
If this was the purpose, the motion would have been filed earlier; it seems as if Mon General simply wants to be a thorn in WVU’s side.
WVU Hospitals are the largest in the state and accepts patient transfers from all over the region, including patients from Mon General. In fact, Mon General is among the top five hospitals in the state that transfer patients to WVU. According to the Associated Press, more than 5,000 patients transfer to WVU, including 200 from Mon General.
Mon General claims to be putting the patients’ care first, but it is difficult to grasp this concept through such actions.
WVU is trying to increase its capability to treat more patients, and keep jobs in West Virginia.
If Mon General can’t care for all the patients it receives, then why would it object to WVU’s expansion?
According to Bruce McClymonds, president and chief executive officer of WVU Hospitals, WVU Hospitals attempted to reach out to Mon General in April 2011 in efforts to solve capacity issues, but "they refused all those ideas and suggestions."
If WVU cannot expand, then thousands of patients may be forced to seek treatment outside of West Virginia, which would cost the state a lot of money.
Mon General should be working with WVU to ensure that patients within West Virginia have quality care.