Thursday, October 09, 2008

Another Loss For Galveston

Beaches, homes, and jobs are in peril on Galveston Island. The topography of Galveston has been altered by Ike. Homes that weren't destroyed may end up being lost due to the erosion of the beach land. FEMA still does not have enough ability to help those on the island. Many residents are begging for trailers from FEMA so they will have somewhere to live while waiting to repair or replace their homes.

The fact that many jobs have been lost is an understatement. After all this is a tourist area. No tourists no money. Now the University of Texas Medical Branch(UTMB) at Galveston is facing some hard decisions. There are 2300 medical students and nursing students there. The medical school has been around since 1891, graduating over 28,000 doctors. The 700 bed John Sealy Hospital had 753,000 outpatient visits alone last year.

The hospital suffered significant damage. Just as the Houston Medical Center was severely damaged due to Tropical Storm Allison so is John Sealy. The medical center was devastated but has now made major changes which this year made a big difference is the safey of the hospitals, equipment and research. Now John Sealy Hospital will have to do the same. Year after year went by as John Sealy Hospital withstood the annual hurricane seasons. But this year it was hit hard with from 6 to 16 feet storm surge alone. Apparently now the hospital will reopen but with considerable changes. They will no longer have 700 beds. It will re-open at less than 1/3 it's capacity. This will mean more job losses. The UT system may or may not be able to afford the changes. The Mayor is not happy about the loss of jobs and the foot-dragging by FEMA.

So, let's let the powers that be in Washington continue to use our tax dollars to bail out others. I hope that UTMB takes some lessons from the Houston Medical Center and finds a way to made the repairs and changes to make the hospital rise again, wiser and better. And they probably won't all go for a spa visit.


Dr.John said...

I think our communities are going to have to learn that you can not rely on Washington. It is simply not capable of saving us. If we keep thinking it will we delude ourselves.

Anonymous said...

"So, let's let the powers that be in Washington continue to use our tax dollars to bail out others."

Bad news, whether you were a stockholder or not, you would have still paid for the stock market even had the powers that be NOT delegated tax dollars. A recession doesn't much care who it sends to the poor house -- and the more one has, the more one has to loose. Whereas the people already hurting go from bad to considerably worse.

Perhaps there will be enough of an economy left that people CAN start over.

Btw, I agree, FEMA needs a major overhaul. First off, someone should teach them to communicate.