'Man About Town,' a local Marquette-based newsletter, published an exposé "SOS in the ER" by retired journalist Brian Cabell. The piece anonymously interviews five physicians at UP Health System - Marquette (UPHS), who revealed problems with the direction of the for-profit hospital.
To summarize the newsletter, doctors in the emergency department claim UPHS struggles with doctor and nurse turnover, outsourcing registration, elderly and pediatric care, unprecedented wait times, and an unresponsive hospital administration.
A standout quote: "The hospital is designed for maximum profit. There's nothing to ensure safety."
Dr. Bob Lorinser, a resident of Marquette, a medical colleague of UPHS staff, and a previous hospitalist and patient at UPHS, said he is very worried.
"I worked at UPHS from 1989 until 2011 when I left to be a diplomat and physician to serve the nation overseas," said Lorinser. "This is where my family receives care and where several friends are hospitalized.
"Marquette is my community, and UPHS is our hospital. I am dismayed and saddened to hear of these alleged internal struggles for staff and patients."
Following the publication of the exposé, Lorinser sent a letter to fellow physicians offering support.
"I stand in solidarity with doctors and nurses who are committed to quality community care.' - Bob Lorinser
"Many hospitals are facing problems for a multitude of reasons, but none of them should be to favor stockholders," said Lorinser. "When healthcare isn't the first priority, patients suffer. Profit can be used for good in most industries. However, the for-profit model in medical care often sacrifices patients' well-being.
"Over 25% of community hospitals now for-profit, and it worries me.
"Healthcare is a human right. We are failing Americans, but there is a better way. We must create a publicly financed, non-profit national health insurance program that fully covers all Americans' medical costs. Our for-profit system is not working."
"The healthcare system is broken, and we desperately need reform. It's why I am running for Congress and why we need a doctor in the House."
Lorinser says patients come first, always. "Hospitals must put people before profit and invest in the community, or leave."