The discontinuation of the foot care clinics that have been provided to the residents of the Havre Eagles Manor as well as many other locations along the Hi-Line was announced last Thursday. It appears that the desire of Northern Montana Health Care is to gain and maintain financial advancement rather than provide adequate health care to the Hi-Line residents. The provision of the foot clinic at the Manor has been more than a convenience; it has been and continues to be necessary. Many seniors are unable to attend clinics at the hospital due to transportation issues and weather.
The stated reasoning for this cut is that the Affordable Care Act will require insurance coverage for the nurses providing the labor of the foot clinic. All seniors requiring foot care will now have to schedule appointments at the hospital with an expected rate increase ... to be paid out of pocket for most of them.
Getting around in good weather can be difficult enough, but obtaining transportation and utilizing assistive devices such as canes, walkers, and wheel chairs in the snow and ice will create hazardous conditions for these residents.
The Montana Healthcare Workforce Statewide Strategic Plan, 2011 states, “The Montana population is the fastest-growing aging population in the country. Along with the aging population come greater healthcare needs.” Knowing that as well as that nearly 14 percent of Hill County residents are over the age of 65, why would anyone make cuts in an area that is so well utilized?
Aren’t there other areas of the budget that could take a trimming in order to better serve the community?
Havre Eagles Manor