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Hospitals and Problems of Caring for Indigent

Your editorial “Government Must Pay for Care of Indigent” (March 19) is very timely. State and county governments point fingers at one another in blame and nothing gets done. Then they blame physicians and hospitals and again, nothing is done.

We are all to blame in our own way. But the problem of financing gets worse, especially as it relates to care for the indigent and uncompensated care. Just ask county officials whether they would want to see a county hospital operated by the county. Why should they? Physicians and hospitals are absorbing the costs. And they face severe financial problems as a result.

UCI Medical Center is the very large tip of the iceberg in Orange County. As its percentage of uncompensated-for and Medi-Cal patients increases, it loses more money.

Hospitals and physicians are responsible parties, but we cannot continue to carry this increasing burden while the County of Orange and state of California ignore their own obligations.

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I agree with The Times that we are all ultimately at risk, and I hope that members of the public will contact their elected representatives .

CRAIG G. MYERS

Santa Ana

Craig G. Myers is executive director of Coastal Communities Hospital in Santa Ana.

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