To the Editor:
This is a letter that was also sent to Sen. Julian Cyr.
We have a situation on the Vineyard that is creating a critical health problem. The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital has denied service to one of our key doctors. He is our personal physician, as well as treating 50 or more other Islanders. The hospital has refused to let him practice in the hospital other than during regular visiting hours. I have lived here 88 years so far, and I have never run into this situation before.
Dr. Mike Michotek has been our doctor for the past two years. I was in a car accident and unable to move when Dr. Michotek was recommended to us. He would come to the house! I would not have to be bundled into a wheelchair and transported to the hospital or some office at the hospital. Reminds me of Dr. Bob Nevin. For some reason, with Dr. Michotek, the local hospital will not allow him to practice medicine in the hospital, other than in normal visiting hours. This is making it impossible for him to work. His patients, like me, are elderly, and will be in and out of the hospital for whatever reason, or just being elderly as that is what we do!
As Dr. Michotek feels he cannot practice medicine without being able to see patients in the hospital, this action by the hospital has the effect of depriving my wife and me and his other patients of our doctor.
Finding a doctor today is no easy thing anywhere in the country, and on the Vineyard, well, we all know that answer. Our hospital is supposed to be a rural hospital operation, not a big city factory. Why some accommodation cannot be made for Dr. Michotek to see his patients is beyond my understanding; I hope you can give me a reason or reasons that make sense. If I were hospitalized, it would be, and is, very important that the doctor who knows me and my history have an active role in my procedures. The actions for the hospital seem only to affect the doctor, but they forget his patients. As for any other doctors to hear about this, perhaps while researching the Island as a place to practice, they may see this refusal to admit an outside doctor as a very negative factor to locate to the Vineyard.
The Vineyard Hospital was subscribed by Vineyarders in a mighty campaign to build a new one, by and for the Vineyarders. Did we really bargain to have the administrative restrictions and regimes of Mass General, in the heart of Boston, relocated and duplicated in the heart of the Vineyard?
I am sure some accommodation could be worked out, but it is obvious some deep lines have been drawn in the sand. The hospital is basically a community facility, and should work to accommodate all who are qualified to serve. We need our doctor! Their actions are leaving us without one. On the Vineyard, that is just not right, as there are not enough doctors now. Why can our hospital send one away? He is a great doctor!
Can you help us with this problem? It should never have happened.
Leo and Alison Convery