Vidant Pungo Hospital

Published 5:44 pm Wednesday, January 29, 2014

To the Editor:

A response to the “Our Voice” article in the Daily Reflector, Sunday, Jan. 12, 204, and in the Jan. 10, 2014, article on “Pungo Closing” by Michael Abramowitz.

• Vidant was aware of Pungo Hospital finances (loss $1 million/year), yet there were no operational changes made at the time of the contract. Why assume management of a hospital knowing financial losses were ongoing and provide no consistent administration, supervision or implementation of cost-saving measures?

• Closing Pungo District Hospital with loss of all hospital services (ER, X-ray, lab, acute car, swing bed, vent bed, specialty clinics) and replacing the hospital with a clinic with limited services (mobile X-ray unit, limited physical therapy, no beds, limited lab services, etc.) results in a severe loss of medical services for 20,000 people in the Pungo District area. Mortality (loss of life) predictably will increase along with morbidity (illness).

• The economic reality is the loss of 100-plus jobs, loss of a viable community hospital and $400,000 loss in municipal service charges annually for Belhaven.

• Pungo District Hospital has provided exemplary health-care services for 65 years to the people in this area and has been a strong supporter of the Vidant (Health) system. Yet, it appears that Vidant is intent on destroying our health care and our economics. Vidant should read its contract with Pungo District and meet its obligations as promised.

To wit, the contract, as implemented, provided:

• Pungo District Hospital will not be closed.

• Administrative assistance will be provided.

• Outpatient clinics will be added to those present.

• Purchase of medical supplies and equipment will be cost-saving through Vidant.

• Medical training programs will be added.

• Mutual support will be provided.

• Medical-records system will be installed (grant).

Total hospital closure is wrong for our people and wrong for the town. Keep the ER, X-ray and lab, drop urgent care and build the multispecialty clinic.

Dr. Charles Boyette



Dr. Charles Boyette is medical director of Hyde County EMS, Hyde County Health Department, Liberty/Cross Creek Healthcare Facility and Vidant Family Medicine-Haslin.