Letter: Will Mayo be able to provide what it promised?

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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Ruth Sanders’ letter in the Aug. 26 issue of the Tribune frightened me. Although she received the excellent medical care she needed at the time and was very complimentary about her experience, the content scares me. I needed ER services a week ago and went to the Mayo Clinic Health System hospital in Austin. It was not life-threatening so I chose Austin instead of Albert Lea even though the drive was further. My reason was that if I did need to be admitted, I was in the right place. When the reorganization of the two hospitals happened and inpatient rooms, ICU, maternity care and more were eliminated from the Albert Lea campus, we were all told it would be available as needed in Austin. When Ms. Sanders said there were no rooms closer than Faribault and then not even at a Mayo-owned facility, that was shocking. In my naivete, I thought that if I went to the ER in Austin, there would be a bed for me if I needed it. Of course, I understand the staffing problems many medical facilities are dealing with currently and wish I had an answer to that, but perhaps the situation needs to be revisited if Mayo is going to be able to provide what it promised when they changed the Albert Lea facility to a clinic rather than a full-service hospital. Please understand that I value the Mayo Clinic Health System; this is not a Mayo-bashing letter. They provide care that surpasses most in the world, and I will continue to receive my medical care there as long as I live. I am simply concerned that they underestimated the need for inpatient rooms in Albert Lea and, perhaps, should take a second look at the situation. I don’t want to be frightened that there will be no “room at the inn” if my husband or I need it going forward.

Sandra Olson

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