To the Editor:

I have lived in the Mid-coast region since 1972 and now enjoy my retirement in Harpswell. My community, like much of Maine has an older population and, more and more, we depend on mobile emergency services.

Harpswell convened a special committee in 2010 to determine how best to maintain and fund emergency medical services, and in 2011 we voted to implement these services with a working relationship with Mid Coast Hospital.

Such services are, in fact, a community resource, essential to the health care of everyone who lives in Harpswell. And in all my years living in this town, I cannot remember any other issue that passed with nearly 100 percent support. But this expenditure did, because everyone recognized the serious nature of having good emergency health care close by.

The current debate about the future of our health care has me concerned.

If the financial strength of Mid Coast Hospital is drained by the operations of Lewiston’s Central Maine Healthcare, because they want to enter and operate in our community, then we who live here have a very serious issue on our hands. We will be hard pressed to maintain our region’s high quality of life, without ensuring the integrity of our local hospital which gets excellent recognition for being one of the safest, most efficient, and highest quality community hospitals in Maine.

Our community must take a stand and protect our local health care provider rather than allow a Lewiston entity to drive up costs and jeopardize the quality care we currently access.

Charles Bridge