The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 20, 1906
Fort Dodge’s Chief Need is Hospital
Present Institution for Caring for Sick is Badly Over-crowded
This City Should Be Active
A Large Territory in This Part of the State Would Contribute Cases if a Proper Hospital Were Conducted Here – Many Reasons Urge It.
It may surprise some people of Fort Dodge to know that for the past month the Fort Dodge General Hospital has been overcrowded and that the management has even been compelled ot refuse admittance to at least a dozen patients.
Fort Dodge is fast becoming the medical and surgical center for a territory of fifty miles in all directions, and the time has arrived when the people of this city must cast about for ways and means to provide a suitable hospital to supply the needs of the unfortunate sick of so vast an area.
The present building is fairly good, so far as it goes, and the services rendered are excellent in so far as the management is not hampered by lack of room and other necessary facilities. It will be remembered that nine months ago the proprietors were forced to abandon the old Grant residence for the larger and better fitted Poyer building Since then their patronage has increased to such an extent it seems imperative, not only from the standpoint of humanity, but from a purely commercial point of view, that larger and better equipped quarters be provided for the sick of Fort Dodge and its contributory territory.
It is urged that hospitals do not pay. It is true that most secular and civic hospitals do not. Investigation has shown, however, that the great majority of Sisters’ hospitals do pay, for the reason that the nurses are not paid and very little outside help is hired.
How much money would a hospital of fifty bed, if four-fifths full, put into circulation in Fort Dodge every day? There are very few, if any, single commercial institutions in the city that would circulate more.
From actual experience it is estimated that of forty patients in a hospital thirty are likely to be from out of town and twenty-five of these likely to be surgical cases. The expense, including doctors’ and hospital fees, hotel bills of relatives and friends, shopping expenditures in town, etc., incurred by each patient is figured at $15 a day (about $359 today). Thirty patients at $15 a day would leave $450 a day ($10,777) in Fort Dodge. Aside from the actual financial gain to Fort Dodge, such an institution would do more if properly advertised, to spread the name and fame of this city than any other single enterprise we have.
During the recent meeting of the Fort Dodge District Medical Society in this city, Dr. Margin of Pomeroy said to a Messenger representative: “It is a source of great wonder to me that Fort Dodge is not better equipped as to a hospital. There is no question but that fort Dodge physicians and surgeons are well able to take care of anything that may come to them and in my mind it is only a question of a short time when practically all the surgery in this part of the state will be done right here in Fort Dodge. But that time will never come until a big modern hospital is built. At present, all of my hospital cases go to Sioux City, but they would come here if you had the hospital I speak of.”
Drs. Taylor of Pomeroy, Mullarky of Manson, Belt and McManus of Gilmore City, Arent and Grigsby of Humboldt, and a score of others expressed the same views.