The Free Press, Mankato, MN

February 6, 2013

Your View: As health facilities compete, who do you trust?

By Kermit Swanson, St. Peter

— The integrity of the Mayo Clinic Health Systems is being challenged by the St. Peter's Rivers Edge Hospital and Clinic for using deceptive and dishonest business practices. We are told that these practices stem from the Mayo Health System administration and not from the physicians in the system.

Many of us in St. Peter have a vested interest in the integrity of Mayo. We personally place our trust in nine physicians and specialists in/or connected to Mayo. I believe when I am told that it's not the doctors, but the administration at fault in this challenge.

Regional health care can be a vicious, competitive beast which too often is only connected to the almighty dollar. This is indeed unfortunate and certainly not in the best interest of the patient.

Although the doctors in the system may be innocent, can they be completely removed from the fray? Can guilt by association be completely washed away like a scrub before surgery? Is the staff being complicit by not challenging deceptive practices by their administration?

Unfortunately, health system administrations don't have to take the Hippocratic oath to apply their practices, while physicians do. It is unfortunate that innocent, trusting patients become the victims when the low road to health care integrity is taken instead of the high road.

Who should you believe when you are told that St. Peter's Rivers Edge is full and can't take admissions, and instead you are coaxed to a Mayo facility?

Who will you trust?