Editorial: Valley Medical ready to make good use of beds

Valley Medical Center should aggressively pursue its appeal of a state Department of Health denial of 60 new patient beds, including 30 for the new South Tower that houses its Emergency Department.
Tens of millions of dollars were spent to build the Margarita Prentice Trauma Center, a capstone of the medical center’s long-term effort, with the public’s support, to develop a first-rate medical complex for the citizens of Southeast King County.
That’s why it’s hard to understand why the state health department, which decides how many beds a hospital can have, would not want Valley to realize the full potential of this important addition.
Instead, the state gave permission to MultiCare Health Systems to build a 58-bed hospital in Covington. We’re not against making health care easily available to all. It just makes sense to expand the capacity – and avoid equipping a new facility with expensive equipment available elsewhere close by – of existing medical centers. Auburn Regional Medical Center also asked for more beds.
If there’s been any message to government in recent years, it’s use our money efficiently.

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