Reader: Community should focus on reason for closing of OB unit

TO THE EDITOR:

The closure of Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital’s maternity ward is yet another huge blow to the area. With that being said, it is time people start focusing on the cause rather than the result.

If the area was progressing and growing the closure would not be occurring and the State of Michigan would not have declared the city an at risk community.

The fact is the area is failing economically.

While there is tremendous concern over Munson’s decision I have to ask, where has been the concern over the dwindling population lack of jobs and irresponsible spending on non-essentials while ignoring required infrastructure repairs? Manistee County has recently been identified as having the worse roads in the state following data released by the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council annual report rating the surface quality of roads.

Had there been proper priorities and money spent wisely in the past, the area would be growing and the city would not be under a state mandate to fix a sewer system that was identified as being an essential project 40 years ago by the then retiring city manager Chester Glocheski.

If Manistee County continues down the path so many people support, that being tourism, it may end up like Mackinaw City, without a hospital or a drug store. The reality is the absence of hospital services does not discourage tourists. Lack of jobs however discourages population growth which in turn leads to decisions such as that made by Munson Healthcare.

People need to stop kidding themselves that the closure of a maternity ward will be the reason people will not move to or stay in the area. The reason has been and will continue to be because of lack of livable wage jobs.

Gary Patulski

Manistee summer resident

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