A selection of reader comments from our Facebook page last week.
On whether too many people use emergency rooms and ambulance services for non-emergencies, and how you define an “emergency” situation:
• If you do believe that emergency rooms are over used, where would you suggest a sick person go for treatment? (I can guess where the heartless right-wingers would want, but how about some suggestions from a decent, caring person instead?) — Jonathan S.
• True emergencies require emergency treatment. Stubbed toes and toothaches are not among those. I know several people who work at an area hospital and trust me, they see more non-emergencies than you’d think — Laura C.
• A pregnancy test is not an emergency! Our emergency rooms are over used. We now have Med-express that is wonderful for minor things — Brandi T.
• A big reason that the ER is overused in this area is probably due to the fact that so many people are uninsured. Most doctors won’t see you if you don’t have insurance or can’t pay up front, whereas a community hospital is required to. I’d say another reason is that when young children get sick, worried parents don’t want to have to waste time getting in to see a doctor, especially since kids always seem to get the sickest at night when doctors’ offices aren’t open — Michelle B.
• Several comments here are good. Who hasn’t gotten sick in the late evening or on a weekend? And yes, insurance plays a big part. But the question was when is it a true emergency. To me, when a life is in danger — when waiting until morning to go see doctor, but may not live that long. Unbearable pain — Shirley M.
On a story about Oklahoma authorities uncovering a huge marijuana operation:
• I wish everyone would quit worrying so much about marijuana and start worrying more about these stupid people that are cooking meth and putting people’s lives in danger — I mean the innocent children in the homes of meth labs and the nearby residents. At least the people growing pot are not going to blow up the neighborhood. Just saying — Vicky T.
• Thought there was a drought in Oklahoma? Maybe they should hire the pot growers to grow food! — Julie D.
• Imagine the money we’d bring in from taxes on safe, legal marijuana. Maybe then we could fund our schools properly and stop falling behind in every category of education. — Joe H.