Doc’s bad rap undeserved

I am responding to the article “Some doctors taking in millions” (Hastings Tribune, April 10).

I would like to share the real story on Dr. John Welch.

He has been taking care of my retina patients since I moved here more than 20 years ago. He is one of the most ethical and hardworking ophthalmologists I have ever known.

He has never once turned away one of my patients when I needed his help despite the fact that he is incredibly busy. I know that he works this hard not because he wants more money but because he is the only retina specialist between York and Denver.

He knows, as I do, that many of these patients would go blind without his care. It is so discouraging that he is now being vilified for taking care of the large number of Medicare patients he sees.

In addition, most of the Medicare payments attributed to him go not to his salary but to the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the drugs he injects.

I, for one, would like to thank Dr. Welch for all of the help he has given me and my patients over the years. I hope that he does not become discouraged by the implication that he is anything less than an honest and compassionate physician who is doing far more than his share to care for our patients.

Lori A. Harkins, opthalmologist
Grand Island

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