Great loss for our community

To the editor:

To have the best medical service providers should be the goal of any community, because it has a direct impact on the health of the population.

Doctors who try to maintain a private practice are under tremendous pressure today, caused by government regulations, placing more emphasis on paperwork and red tape, than allowing the doctor to spend time with patience. Many of these doctors can no longer afford the overhead required to comply and deal with the amount of mandated paperwork and regulations. This is what forces many doctors into alliances where others take care of dealing with the clerical aspects of the business.

But not every doctor is accepted into such an alliance. Certified Urology Dr. Antonios Karamalegos is one of them. Why, is difficult to understand and does not speak well for the Scotland County Healthcare System. There are only 18,000 urology doctors in the US. These doctors are expected to serve a population of over 320 million. Dr. Karamalegos served the people of Scotland County for nearly 30 years, but is forced to close his practice, by the end of the year, for reasons listed above. He explored variety of options to avoid the closing, but those who could have prevented his leaving, did not. One should ask, why was no one interested in keeping such an excellent, knowledgeable, well trained and long serving Urologist in the Scotland County Healthcare System? Apparently the people at Central Carolina Hospital in Sanford, NC recognized the value in Dr. Karamalegos and hired him, while the people operating the Scotland County Healthcare System did not. How can such a decision help in providing good all around health care for our community? Losing Dr. Karamalegos will create not only unemployment for his staff, as if we didn’t have enough already, but hardship for those who need to find a new Urology Doctor. For those who want to remain with Dr. Karamalegos, they will have to travel 60 Miles to Lee County. Instead of keeping dedicated people like Dr. Karamalegos, who served Scotland County and surrounding communities for so many years, no place could be found for him to continue serving his patience and our community. Not supporting his efforts to remain, will be a great loss to healthcare in our area.

Horst Hanak

Laurinburg,