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ERs are busy because area is growing

Letters to the Editor
Published April 7, 2006

All of today's letters are in response to Snowbirds no better than Floridians , a letter published March 27.

I live in Florida all year. I am not a snowbird.

On March 22, I had to go to Community Hospital Emergency Room. I had severe abdominal pain. Within 15 minutes I was attended to. I did have to wait a few hours for a bed on another floor to be admitted. Compliments to the ER staff. They made me comfortable and did the right tests to diagnose my condition.

Snowbirds have the right to all our hospitals. We need to remember Pasco is growing; therefore our hospitals will always be crowded. Many people without insurance use our hospitals. Always notify your doctor before going to the ER. He will call in for you and sometimes meet you there.

-- Josephine Sciallo, New Port Richey

Snowbirds worked to get here

I had to let the letter writer in on a little secret. He complained about not getting quick attention at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point's emergency room and blamed it on the snowbirds.

What in the world made him think they were responsible? He said no one normally chooses to be part of an emergency. Doesn't that include snowbirds?

He cried because the snowbirds have a home up North and are able to come down here in the winter. Does he believe all these things were given to them? They, as I have done, have probably worked 40 to 45 years to be where they are now. Don't bite the hand that's been feeding you for the last 20 or 30 years.

With his attitude, he should have requested an exam with a psychologist before he left the hospital. Sounds like he could use one.

-- Ray Roflamme, Port Richey

Blame hospital, not snowbirds

I sincerely think the letter writer missed the point.

The definition of the word "triage" is "establishing of priorities for treatment of individual cases as in emergencies" (American Century Dictionary).

Why blame snowbirds for something that should have been handled as an emergency by the triage team? Let's hope the Bayonet Point hospital will reprimand the nurse who obviously spoke on its behalf.

As snowbirds, we, too, pay taxes, huge insurance, carry our own health insurance plans and ask for no special status at medical centers.

Our money keeps the economy going, and who is to say that the other people waiting for treatment weren't in need as much as you were?

Perhaps the letter writer should rethink his comments and thank these snowbirds from not only my country of Canada but also Michigan, New York and anywhere south of Ohio for visiting and making Florida their prime destination for rest an relaxation.

Florida will continue to be an inviting place to vacation regardless of the few individuals who think we don't deserve the use of its facilities.

-- Marion Wilson, New Port Richey

Community belongs to all of us

I am a snowbird and no one I know treats the emergency room like a doctor's office. They all have their own doctors here while spending the winters in "your" community. We're all part of the United States, and this is no more your community than mine. It belongs to all of us.

I might also add that I pay taxes (more property tax than you do). Our home insurance, after quadrupling in three years, is in jeopardy of being doubled just because we're snowbirds. How much does the letter writer pay?

What does he think would happen to his taxes if all the snowbirds stayed home?

If he is suggesting that all snowbirds in the emergency room should be placed at the bottom of the list so permanent residents can be attended to first, then he is living in the wrong country.

Also, if he was in such excruciating pain that he was screaming, I doubt that any medical personnel would not attend to him first.

I think the letter writer should sign up for an anger management course.

-- Vivian L. Heidel, New Port Richey

Snowbirds keep economy going

Perhaps the gentleman who complained about the snowbirds might better vent his anger at the Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point employees. Maybe they need a refresher course in their triage assessment skills as well as their professionalism.

His "excruciating" pain clearly indicates a serious problem and should have been immediately evaluated instead of being told "too bad you chose now to come into the ER because we are really busy with the snowbirds." Having the same statement repeated in the ICU after his emergency appendectomy compounds the lack of professionalism. No matter who comes into an ER, severity of the medical problem is what is considered first, not who the patient is or where he or she resides.

Snowbirds contribute millions of dollars to Florida's economy. Without their spending in property taxes, supermarkets, restaurants, department stores, malls, etc., there would be considerably fewer dollars in the state's treasury. If all the snowbirds went home and stayed there as the writer suggests, some Floridians might need to go north to find employment. Maybe a speedy recovery will help lessen the letter writer's bitterness toward snowbirds.

-- Judy Coleman, Joanne Curran, Hudson

ER waits are long everywhere

Understaffed hospitals have nothing to do with snowbirds. My sister just spent 261/2 hours waiting for surgery for a ruptured appendix and wasn't even in Florida. She was in Michigan, where the snow is.

If the crybaby didn't have snowbirds to pick up the tab for a lot of what taxes pay for, what sort of taxes would he pay? How would all these restaurants employ so many and survive without snowbirds? Most of them say they barely survive or lay off waiters during summer months.

It makes me wonder what sort of work he does or if he even works, to have such an attitude. He certainly isn't in the construction business.

-- Donna Herrick, Port Richey

Some snowbirds are longtimers

I too am a snowbird, but I am a Florida resident. I go back north in the summer. We first came to Florida in 1959 and obtained our current home in 1977. I retired in 1985 at the age of 60, and we moved to Florida. How long has the letter writer been a resident of Florida? I will sit back and say to him: Go home and stay there!

-- Leonard A. Kail, New Port Richey

Only Seminoles can claim area

The person who wants the snowbirds to stay home isn't thinking straight. If they aren't Seminole Indians, the original inhabitants here, they have no more right to be here than the snowbirds they complain about. Perhaps if they had to pay a state income tax or higher sales tax (which they would if snowbirds didn't come here), then they would be a little slower to make such comments.

All hospitals seem understaffed. Anyone who needs medical care should get it no matter where they are from. I don't enjoy waiting either, but I realize they're doing the best they can.

It reminds me of when my husband was stationed in Texas and the town near the base complained about the airmen. There was a sign in the park that said, "No airmen or dogs allowed on the grass."

The commander decided to see how the town would like it if there were no airmen. The next payday, everyone on base was paid in $2 bills. The town was put off limits. Everyone in town who received a $2 bill knew it came directly or indirectly from the base. Needless to say, the commander received a ton of calls asking him to put the town back on limits.

-- Judith Shotwell, Zephyrhills

[Last modified April 7, 2006, 01:31:16]

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