Regarding the recent cover story “Bedding, not boarding,” as the CEO of a community hospital, I am reminded daily of the mental-health crisis facing our community and our nation.
Our emergency department boards an average of 10 mental patients daily, where some are housed for more than three weeks waiting for a psychiatric bed. As generations come and go, these voiceless souls live in the shadows on an island of irrelevance surrounded by an ocean of indifference. Their modern-day dungeon is now the ED at the local hospital.
The answer to their plight is a call of the social contract to address this national humanity issue. These patients will be relieved of their burden when our nation addresses a system of healthcare delivery that will include allocation of money and other resources. We will all be judged by how we care for the least of these.
Ed PiperPresident and CEOOnslow Memorial HospitalJacksonville, N.C.