Steve Wilson
Steve Wilson

I am grateful for Mee Memorial Healthcare System, I really am. In the past decade I have had more contact with the folks there than I wanted to, but as one ages one must face the realities of natural physical deterioration or, as in my case, the recklessness of past activities, such as auto wrecks or work/play related injuries. For the most part, with one exception I can think of, I have received very good care. That said, I am dismayed with the situation of professional care for which one must travel out of South Valley to get treatment.

I don’t know the number of residents from Gonzales to Bradley and all the outlying areas who travel to Salinas and Monterey, or Paso Robles and Templeton, for care that does not exist at Mee or any of the clinics found in these cities, but I know the number is higher than most of us would wish. Why is this? Why must I and many others have to travel to any other town’s facility or doctor’s office for care that should be offered here?

In my case, it means a bus ride and then either a walk or bike ride to the appointments in Salinas; for those capable, it often means a costly round-trip drive; and for those unable to drive themselves, arranging for either a family member or friend or, if qualified, medical transportation just to see a doctor. Because of this hassle, I no longer make appointments for cardiology and dermatology care; not a wise decision, but frankly I just got fed up. In those two cases I did not have a daily regimen of medications to deal with and so far, have suffered no real problems.

But with urology care, I do have daily pills needed to regulate that whole system of prostrate and bladder and whatever else, and those meds will run out soon with the only way of getting refills is to go to the urologist in Salinas. I turned down two appointments, the second one way down the calendar in September, long after my prescriptions run out without possibility of refills. Outrageous.

Getting back to the question of why many of these doctors do not come south or north for patient convenience, I have a theory. Money. It is all about the money. In the case of the urologist, the only treatments I have received are done by the urologist and an assistant and a device designed to let the doctor know the condition of bladder and prostate gland. This procedure takes only a few minutes, and while uncomfortable it does not require any pre-procedure attention, just walk in, and get checked.

I know I am not the only person in South Valley who is a patient of this urologist, so I question why this doctor and his assistant don’t arrange for periodic trips down here somewhere, either Mee or any of the clinics in the area, and offer more convenient patient care. The only reason I can come up with is that it would cut into profits. If there are other reasons, I would surely like to hear what they are. Maybe someone affiliated with Mee who knows why this situation exists would address the issue; and I am not alone in wanting to know if any reason other that financial impact upon the doctor exists. Thus endeth this rant.


While ranting, I may as well add this complaint to the mix. I ride a bicycle because I cannot afford the cost of buying, registering and ensuring a vehicle, so I am fully aware of tire and tube considerations. I know the time will come every year when the dreaded goat’s heads burrs are abundant on almost any surface. These multi-barbed burrs will easily penetrate tire and tube. But when leaks in tubes appear on the rim side of the wheel then they cannot be the cause of punctures on the outer tire side of the tube. I hope that makes sense. When these inside leaks appear, as they have on the last three tubes I have purchased, they are caused by manufacture defects. These holes appear on small ridges and a line of hash marks, which resemble a railroad track; both run the entire inner circumference of the tube.

I finally got frustrated enough to go to the place I purchase said tubes with the latest faulty tube in hand and showed staff there the problem. I got unacceptable responses. One staff suggested there was something on the wheels inside rim causing the two holes. I assured the person I am careful about such things and was sure no such situation existed; the holes were a result of manufacture. I was then told to contact the manufacturer with the problem. Really? I did get in touch with the manufacturer and with absolutely no questions as to any other situation, i.e. something on my wheel rim causing holes, they are sending three replacement tubes at no cost. Very good.

Still, it seems to me that if you are in the business of selling products then you should be liable for those products if they are faulty. What should have happened was the retailer should have replaced the faulty tubes from their stock and then they should have dealt with the manufacturer about replacements. But apparently that is not a policy of this business, and so that is the end of the line for me as a customer.

Now, because I only spend less than $100 a year in the place, they will never miss me. I’ll either order online, travel to other businesses or do without. Because this business has hundreds of regular customers, they don’t give a bent nickel about losing one who spends as little as I do. So much for “the customer is always right.” And thus endeth this rant.

Next week I’ll lighten things up, promise.

Take care. Peace.

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King City and Greenfield columnist Steve Wilson may be reached at [email protected].


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