13 Cardiologists Speak Out For New Heart Hospital - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/6/03

13 Cardiologists Speak Out For New Heart Hospital

During a news conference Thursday afternoon, cardiologists said Covenant Health System just doesn't give these doctors a chance to provide quality service like they could in the past.

But Covenant Spokesman Eddie Owens says just recently, the hospital was named a distinguished hospital for clinical excellence. Two sides telling two different stories. Two sides with vested interests.

Cardiologist "Bo" Fowler says Covenant has focused it's attention away from cardiac care and more into trauma services. "We have gotten to the point where we can no longer provide the excellent care we once occurred because services have been cut, employees have been cut," said Dr. Fowler.

However, Covenant spokesman Eddie Owens says cardiac care has always been a important. "We recently invested $10 million in equipment upgrades in our cardiology program to give our doctors state of the art technology in cardiac care," said Owens.

There were 11 cardiologists who attended the news conference and they want the new hospital to open in Lubbock. They say it's good for Lubbock because it will give these doctors an opportunity to provide the best care to their patients.

Covenant denies any concerns of competition, but they are concerned about how the new hospital might take away from Covenant financially.

"It could be significant. There's no two ways about it. But we're determined to survive it. We're determine to remain the leader for quality health care for West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. We're committed to do whatever it takes," said Owens.

Owens says administration is talking about a strategic plan to overcome possible losses. But when the new Heart Hospital is open at the end of this year those cardiologists say they still have intentions to provide service at Covenant.

The new heart hospital is also getting support from Lubbock's Mayor. "Anytime we can create jobs, more opportunity in Lubbock it creates a larger tax base then that's what we're doing, that's economic development. That's one of the things I have campaigned on since 1996. So, certainly I think it's a good deal," said Mayor McDougal.

As NewsChannel 11 told you Monday, Senator Robert Duncan is opposed to the heart hospital. He says it would create a competition between doctors, not hospitals.

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