A study that recommends closing three health care facilities in Prince George's County was roundly criticized at a public hearing in the county last night, with some politicians adding their voices to the opposition.
James R. Stanton, executive director of the Maryland Health Resources Planning Commission, told the group of nearly 150 assembled for the hearing that the study's recommendations were not a "hit list," but merely one possible formula for removing costly, unused hospital beds in the state.
But his protestations made little impression on the report's critics.
"I found the report very sterile and bland," said Democratic State Sen. Leo Green, who criticized it for failing to address "creative, resourceful or pragmatic options" for using various facilities instead of closing them.
Prince George's County Council member Anthony Cicoria complained that many of his constituents in the Hyattsville area are elderly and have for years relied on Leland Memorial and Doctors' hospitals nearby. The report calls for closing those facilities, as well as Clinton Community Hospital.
Bowie Mayor Richard Logue said he was concerned that the plan would forever thwart efforts by the Bowie Health Center to get approval for inpatient beds. Logue said that since there is rapid development in the area that includes Bowie, Crofton and Davidsonville, he is worried that "in the future there will be a need for a hospital in Bowie."
Stanton assured the group at the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro that the commission will consider many factors before deciding how to shrink hospital capacity. "The commission realizes that you just don't go in a rip out a piece of tapestry and leave a gaping hole," he said.
The state-commissioned study, conducted by the national management firm Booz-Allen & Hamilton and released three weeks ago, suggested the elimination of more than 5,000 hospital beds in Maryland by 1988, including 1,000 in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.