Health Care Committee Looking For Residents Opinions

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What is the biggest problem that Saline faces? According to Mayor Brian Marl, it is Saline's lack of primary healthcare options, forcing residents to go to Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti for serious medical assistance.

“I think that if you were [to] assess the Saline community today, compared to where we were ten years ago, I think that we are stronger, better off in probably every measurable way with the exception of healthcare and medical amenities. That is largely the result of our hospital shutting and a number of primary care physicians and specialists either retiring or relocating,” Marl said. “In the ensuing decades, if Saline is going to remain an attractive and viable place, we’re going to need more healthcare amenities.”

That is why Marl and City Council have established a health committee, led by Councilor Dawn Krause, to find a long term solution. Krause told the Sun Times News that the had found in an initial survey that most people in Saline were upset by the city’s lack of healthcare options.

“Most people who grew up in Saline, or have moved away and come back, remember days when we had a full service hospital, emergency roo0m, full diagnostic specialist offices and that all has gone. I think that a lot of people are very interested in what we could bring. What that’ll be and which organization is yet to be determined,” Krause said.

Also to be determined is how to bring healthcare firms to the area. For profit healthcare firms need to be convinced of the need in the area to make the move financial viable for them, regardless of whether the city wants or needs a full hospital, urgent care, private practice specialist, or some combination of healthcare providers.

The committee will be meeting this Monday, June 28, at 7 p.m., and is inviting the public to come and speak. They are looking for as many opinions as possible of what the public wants, before pursuing healthcare firms.

The committee will broaden it with larger and more comprehensive surveys throughout the summer and fall. Saline’s administration has set itself a goal to provide healthcare options not just for Saline, but for the whole southern part of Washtenaw County, spreading out the geography of healthcare beyond its current concentration in Ann Arbor, and to a lesser extent, Ypsilanti.

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