Editor's Desk

The community of Washington County has lost an important resource with the withdrawal of Prime Care from Calais, particularly as it follows the loss of Coastal Med Tech. Like Calais Regional Hospital, the companies were badly hit by changes to the Medicare reimbursement rate in the past few years.

Losing the financial support provided by the federal government to offset the costs of medical care and equipment is particularly devastating to aging rural communities with low populations. Unfortunately, barring a change on the federal level, there is little recourse for the situation as a result of increasing costs. No matter how frustrated or beleaguered individuals within such affected communities become, a massive shift in the allocation of resources would be required.

In the face of losing such life-affecting services, what can we as individuals do? Beyond undertaking preventative self-care – which won’t help in all situations – the simplest answer comes down to something that Downeasters are traditionally familiar with. Families from this area know what it means to “make do”, and, perhaps more importantly, they know what it takes to keep a system of social interdependence going. Through the help of family, friends, and neighbors, patients will find the care they need. Even those without support can turn to community-oriented services like SunRides to get where they need to go.

It isn’t always easy to see losses as opportunities, but in this case, the social ties within the community will doubtlessly strengthen directly as a result of adversity imposed by far-distant policy makers.  

Lura Jackson