More local support would be heartwarming

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I am writing regarding Dr. Freddie Fu's March 26 letter "The Region Owes UMPC Thanks for its Ascent," defending UPMC versus Sally Kalson's March 24 column "Mayor vs. Moneybags" condemning UPMC for putting profits and perks over patients. As a longtime, current and former UPMC patient and also a new UPMC for Life subscriber, I have the utmost respect and admiration for its hospitals, doctors, nurses and staff. In fact, if I needed Dr. Fu's specialty surgery, he is the doctor that I would go to (if he would take me after reading this letter.)

I do find it ironic that his perspective comes from that of a highly compensated physician. His view could be construed as somewhat jaded or biased. This opinion would have more merit coming from an objective economist or doctor who did not have ties to this hospital system.

Senior management is another story. They closed Braddock hospital and opened a new one in Monroeville, and then they tried to hold millions of Highmark subscribers hostage in the UPMC-Highmark contract dispute. The UPMC board is just as culpable as the senior management.

The almost $6 million in salary and perks paid to UPMC President Jeffrey Romoff is obscene, let alone the international jet (whose cost alone could pay property taxes on thousands of Pittsburgh homes), private chef, etc.

Yes, UPMC has contributed to the rebirth of Pittsburgh, but so have all of the universities and their related entities, along with various corporations that have moved here.

The money that UPMC invests overseas could be better spent here in Pittsburgh, and it would be heartwarming (to quote Dr. Fu) to see them pay their fair share.

LARRY GRUMET
Squirrel Hill


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