MAYOR SEEKS BETTER MEDICAL SERVICES

August 18, 2000 11:00 pm

A public forum scheduled Wednesday, Aug. 23, could lead to improvements in Brookings-Harbor health care, Mayor Bob Hagbom says.

The mayor said he has arranged for doctors and officials from Curry General Hospital to attend the meeting.

As a result of the meeting to be held in the Chetco Senior Center beginning at 5:30 p.m., he expects a committee of eight to 10 people to be formed to pursue the matter.

The communitys health care problems came to a head recently when doctors declined to treat patients covered by the Oregon Health Plan. Many patients have been going to Gold Beach for treatment.

Another problem has been the difficulty in finding care in Brookings-Harbor on weekends and during evenings. Most have been driving to the hospital emergency rooms in Gold Beach or Crescent City. Some have been summoning an ambulance, or going to the ambulance barn for help.

Mayor Hagbom said the people expected to participate in the forum include Dr. Mark Silver; Barbara Floyd, county health director; Dr. Reg Williams of Curry General Hospital; and at least two Curry General department heads. He said the heads of the laboratory and X-ray departments will tell how their hospitals improvements will make it better able to serve Brookings-Harbor patients.

One of the possibilities to be discussed will be obtaining federal grant money to assist a clinic serving Oregon Health Plan or low income patients.

The mayor said he expects grant writers to attend the meeting.

The members of the Curry County Commission have been invited to the meeting. The mayor said he does not want to step into another jurisdictions responsibility, "but somebody has to do it.

Rep. Ken Messerle is among those invited to attend.