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Don’t waste time with Lakeshore

There is a lot of precedent for governments to own and operate hospitals and other medical facilities. For example, there were TB hospitals in Perrysburg and Cassadaga and the state psychiatric hospital in Gowanda. There are also state-operated group homes located in many places in our area.

Given the current emergency, a strong case could be made that the state should use its eminent domain powers to acquire Lakeshore Hospital and reopen it and operate it long-term as a government hospital.

Twenty-five years ago you had Tri-County in Gowanda, Lakeshore in Silver Creek and Brooks in Dunkirk with a combined total of around 200 beds. Now you have Brooks with 60 beds and plans to reduce that to 29. Maybe 200 was too many, but it’s hard for me to believe that 29 is enough.

Twenty-nine beds might be enough if everyone in the community is between 15 and 40 and healthy, but our community has a lot of old people, many of whom need more care than younger people.

We are currently confronted with a dire emergency. There is no time to dither and negotiate with Kaleida or TLC. It is time to act.

It is time for the state to use its emergency powers and eminent domain and re-pen Lakeshore Hospital as quickly as possible before the current board further damages the existing structure.

Larry Zollinger is a South Dayton resident.

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