Hospital’s expansion plans are bad for our health care system
I hope that the Baker administration and the state Department of Public Health will heed Joan Vennochi’s warning about adverse impacts on our health care system if Mass General Brigham is allowed to proceed with plans for costly expansion into wealthy Boston suburbs (“After failed China project, Mass General Brigham eyes growth at home,” Opinion, Jan. 18). It’s particularly galling to see MGB spending lavishly on TV advertising to promote the projects.
I’m reminded of pharmaceutical company ads designed to drive consumer demand for products with questionable value as compared with effective, less expensive drugs. In MGB’s case, we should have a voice-over warning about all of the potentially dangerous side effects that may occur if the DPH accedes to the health care giant’s demands: “These projects may raise your health insurance rates, gut the state’s cost-containment goals, and imperil existing health providers. Don’t take this product if you have concerns about racial health disparities, property tax exemptions for rich corporations, or equitable distribution of health resources.”
Despite hospitals filled nearly to capacity with COVID-19 patients, elective surgeries canceled across the state, and health care worker shortages growing, MGB executives want yet more market share. The Baker administration should just say no.
The writer served as senior policy adviser to the commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health from 2007 to 2014. He is a clinical associate professor at the Boston University School of Social Work.
It’s unhealthy to worship growth at all costs
Why is it important for MGB to expand? Can’t they continue to excel while remaining within their current service area? A sustainable world requires that we break our worship of growth at all costs.