Dear Editor,

Having stayed away from commenting on Riverland Hospital's plans for a while now, recent events have encouraged me to revisit those plans and respond again.

I was saddened to read the hospital's rebuttal to their opponents.  Nothing new was added to the discussion and it only served to fan the flames of opposition further. We gave hospital leaders a lovely modern building in 1965 and they have failed in recent years in their stewardship of it.

As many a parent has said to their child, why would we buy you a new one? Surely, Doctor's are human and would be enticed by a new building. But, if you are having a problem recruiting new doctors and services now, how will that change 2.2 miles down the road? Answer, it won't!

The bald-faced contempt which you have shown the citizens and Town of Ferriday has only been spread to the Police Jury. Hiring a consultant to do a fools errand does not an apology make. If Merit can't fill their empty building, there is no consultant that will accomplish that same task on this side of the river.

And most disheartening of all is that the very feasibility study that says this "plan" will work is founded on a mashup of the last 50 years of racism. If you can't tell the coded manner in which the numbers were cooked, then you are not looking. It may not fit the legal definition of racism, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then we all know what it is.

And finally, there is the matter of secrecy and dodging the public. The feasibility study was quickly turned into a "confidential planning document" which the public is “not” welcome to. The lone public meeting was cancelled. All of this sums up to a bad "plan" built on an even worse foundation.

The right thing to do now is to scrap this sham of a plan and to renovate and expand the current facility.  Then, and only then, can we talk about what to do for the long-term future of health care in our parish

Wayne Roberts


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