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TIMES EDITORIAL: Hospital merger would be a great step for Manchester

Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 2:54 pm

While this space is generally reserved for less-fortunate politicians and governmental bodies caught between two bad decisions, we would be negligent if we failed to praise Manchester’s two local hospitals for setting aside pride for the betterment of the Manchester Community.

Over the years, the community has been subjected to headlines and stories insinuating that these two hospitals – United Regional Medical Center and Medical Center of Manchester – might consider uniting to form one hospital only to late find these discussions smothered by pride and a power struggle. Later we were promised a new hospital, but that never came.

Understandably, most citizens glancing through the page one story that outlines the upcoming process for those hospitals will take the news with cautious optimism. But it is worth noting that this is certainly the furthest these two entities, publicly at least, have worked toward one common goal. And that goal is simple – the betterment of medical care for the citizens of Manchester and rural Coffee County.

Social media sites have been polluted with cynical comments over the past 24 hours, many pointing out their displeasures with one hospital or another, perhaps both. It is obvious that these hospitals, or this one hospital if plans continue forward, have serious reputation repair to focus on in the coming months. But we ask that everyone put down their stones. They only cause bruises and hostility. We can all benefit from one working hospital that, if business goes well, could eventually construct a new building.

For years these two hospitals have been attempting to do good but have only been handcuffed and tripped up by one another. By getting out of each other’s way, it opens doors for more centralized finances and, perhaps in turn, better, more-advanced equipment and more quality doctors to take advantage of that new equipment.

We encourage everyone to exercise some optimism when discussing the potential this deal has for our community.

Optimism could be good for your health – optimism and a good hospital.