Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

February 9, 2013

Time for residents to hear the truth

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Editor:

I think it is time for the people of Jefferson County to hear the truth about the former medical department at the Jefferson County Justice Center.

Unlike those who have never stepped foot in that department and insist on pontificating ad nauseum in the newspaper, I had worked “in the trenches” there for nearly 16 years. I know some of you are wondering why I would quit a job that Ted Buck says I made $700 an hour and according to Mr. Buck, rarely showed up for.

First of all, according to his letter to the editor in the Register-News, the county board had known “for years” that Dr. Parks and I had not made three visits per week. Stop right there. Our contract calls for two visits per week. When we were informed June 2012 we were to make three visits, we immediately did so. Only one time did we fail to do so — on Thanksgiving day. Again, Mr. Buck stated we would only work six or seven hours per month per the sheriff's report. On my honor, either the sheriff didn't have the proper information or its been so long since Mr. Buck heard the information he remembers it incorrectly.

The truth is, Dr. Parks and I would see 70 to 80 detainees per week, 52 weeks per year. If you multiply the lower end of that by $35 per detainee (the board at one point wanted us to charge per detainee) that is $127,400 per year. If you subtract our salary, that saves the county $79,000. By the way, try to get a doctor's visit for $35. Another way to look at our salary is we were on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year with all the liability that entails (we won't even talk about the cost of our malpractice for this job alone). The math on that figures out to $2.97 per hour. Where's that $700 per hour?

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