Letter to the Editor: Access to primary care an important topic

Published 8:01 am Thursday, June 30, 2022

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To the Editor,

Thank you so much for your coverage of the healthcare crisis that will have removed 3,000 people as tomorrow, June 23, from their primary care coverage that had been delivered by Manteo Family Medicine, part of Vidant, now called ECU Healthcare.

In your article’s final paragraph it says: “On Friday, June 16, 2022, Amy Montgomery, senior administrator of operations at The Outer Banks Hospital, said in a telephone interview “we are not closing the Manteo practice. We’re looking to expand services in Manteo.” She reported that the hospital is looking for property. She said an expanded facility will “definitely have family medicine.” Unfortunately Ms. Montgomery’s remarks do not mesh very well with the May 23, 2022 letter in which 3,000 of us former patients learned of our fate.

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In this letter, dated May 23, from Lynne Miles, MHA, Regional Administrator of Operations, Outer Banks Medical group, the last sentence in the fifth paragraph says “Once providers are hired it will take time to develop the patient population given they can only care for a limited number of patients per day.” I believe this means that not all 3,000 former patients will be able to be accepted as patients again. I do wonder how they plan to “develop the patient population” which I believe means decide which people will be allowed to become patients again. This doesn’t leave me with a very comforting feeling.

Again, thank you for reporting on this very important issue. My thanks as well to those who spoke up at the Manteo Town meeting. I know the discussion wasn’t on the agenda and so appreciate being able to read about what was said. The July 6th Manteo Town meeting should be very interesting if someone from ECU Health takes up our town manager’s invitation.


BB Wylie Walden, Manteo

June 22, 2022