Replacing doctors with nurses won't aid quality of...


April 25, 2001

Replacing doctors with nurses won't aid quality of health care

I was surprised at the naivete of The Sun's one-line editorial analysis of the General Assembly's vote to allow nurse practitioners to serve as primary care providers in HMOs ("Health care emerges as legislature's gem," April 11). "That's a small step toward making nursing a more appealing career," The Sun concludes.

Actually, it's a big step toward allowing HMOs to decrease their costs by padding their provider panels with nurse practitioners in place of more costly physicians. It's a big step toward increasing profit by decreasing patient access to doctors.

Though HMOs would tell you as a patient that you have a choice of providers and can always choose to see a physician, your actual choice will be more limited with their reapportioned provider panels.

If you are ill, need care urgently and want to see a physician, you can bet the waiting time for an appointment will be longer than that for one with the HMO's more numerous nurse practitioners.

Nurse practitioners provide excellent care when they work with physicians. But they don't have the same broad base of medical knowledge as physicians, who have many more years of training.

Patients may initially be fooled into believing, as The Sun apparently does, that nurses replacing physicians will improve access and is a positive change. And I suppose it is, unless you want to see a doctor when you're really sick.

Dr. David F. Jaffe

Havre de Grace

Handling of the China crisis should satisfy Bush's critics

Hurray for President Bush's brilliant resolution to the hostage crisis in China. To the chagrin of critics such as The Sun's Paul West and editorial writers, Mr. Bush passed the test of his first foreign policy crisis with flying colors.

The subheading on Mr. West's article "Handling of China crisis could benefit president" (April 12) states, "But success may not erase doubts about Bush, analysts say." What analysts? Those biased analysts from left-leaning newspapers such as the New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post? Please give me a break.

Emil Elinsky


Crisis diverts attention from Bush's far-right agenda

It is good and well that the American servicemen and servicewomen held in China are free. This must be especially comforting to their family members.

But, considering the way this incident quickly played out and is being used to bolster George W. Bush's stature as president, I can't help believing this is his handlers' version of "Wag the Dog."

One can only wonder what will come next to divert our attention from the ongoing assault against the environment, workers' rights, women and whomever and whatever else the far right decides does not fit its agenda.

Don Mayeski


Spy planes belong to a bygone era

Am I missing something here? Our satellites take pictures of Chinese trucks and probably can read their license plates. So why do we still need spy planes?

I thought they went out with President Eisenhower and the Cold War.

Michael Kernan


Where's Mfume's outrage over carnage in city streets?

The police shooting of an unarmed youth in Cincinnati was indeed a tragedy, and we can only hope justice will be served.

However, I am still amazed and somewhat perplexed over National Association for the Advancement of Colored People President Kweisi Mfume's fervor in confronting that city's police over the killing, when he can't seem to muster that same fervor to confront some of the young men who continue to maim and murder so many of our people in the nation's cities.

Is it OK for us to kill each other? There appears to be a bit of hypocrisy here.

Garland L. Crosby


Away from the harbor, city businesses struggle

Craig Van Cutsam of Weaco Inc.'s plight in running a business in a declining neighborhood is all too common ("Living Harford Road's slide," April 14).

Unless it is in the Inner Harbor or its surrounding area, businesses are left to fend for themselves against crime, grime and a lack of city services. Boarded-up properties abound, adding to the blight.

It's no wonder Mr. Cutsam's walk-in business has all but disappeared.

Elliot Zulver


The writer is president of Walbrook Mill & Lumber Co. Inc.

White residents in denial about the racism in Bowie

I am a proud, young, African-American female residing in Kettering-Largo, a town five to ten minutes from the heart of Bowie. The Sun's article "Friendship grows over the race wall" (April 18) was an accurate portrayal of Bowie and the rest of Prince George's County.

Bowie is trying its hardest not to change in times of change. It is as if the residents do not want to acknowledge the racism in the town, because it does not adversely affect white individuals as it does the African-American community.

But what they fail to realize is that we do not want revenge; we just want to be able to move, live, eat and breathe the same as our white counterparts, without being reminded from racial graffiti that people still feel we are inferior.

Nedra Davis

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