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More Voices Against HB 2067

I was going to call some of my erstwhile legislative sources this morning, but they finally had sine die at around 5:30 AM. If any of them had bothered to answer their phones, any reports I would have had would have been a combination of hostility and incoherence.

Come to think of it, that’s probably a good summary of the legislative session.

I recieved an e-mail from one member of the faculty at the College of Medicine who gave me a thumbs up for what I wrote about HB 2067. Thank you for the encouragement, sir! The Star has also written a decent article on the dispute and what it might mean for the future of UMC and the College of Medicine.

I don’t know if the e-mail I got was for public consumption, but there is a statement from G. Michael Lemole Jr., MD, the Chief of Neurosurgery at UMC, going around that expresses much the same sentiment:

As an academic neurosurgeon, I came here to join the University of Arizona to become part of a large, integrated academic enterprise, rather than just seeking employment at a community hospital.

More than a year ago, all of the faculty were encouraged by the direction the hospital, the physicians group, the College of Medicine and the University were taking to bring our medical efforts into alignment. And we perceive this progress is being threatened by the current legislation. We have to ask `how does this legislation improve the functioning of the enterprise?’ `How does it improve patient care?’ And if those questions are not easily answered I have to ask why are the legislators inserting themselves into this issue?

At the end of the day, when you are running an effective enterprise you do best when you are coordinated by your `general,’ by someone who has that broad strategic view. That, in my mind, is why the hospital needed to join the physicians’ group and needed to be brought under the umbrella of the University – so we could strategize together…everyone getting together with someone with that `10,000-foot’ view and oversight. This is where we need to concentrate our resources, this is where we need to strategize for the future, it seems to me.

This bill…would only lead to the type of fragmentation that was so frustrating prior to the last year.

The bill passed, by the way, and will be submitted to the governor for a signature or, hopefully, a veto.