Our kissin’ cousins at Two-Daily Town were apparently premature in posting a reader’s comment that Boston Children’s Hospital was already in the process of demolishing the Prouty Garden, which the medical facility wants to replace with a billion-dollar expansion.
Premature, but not necessarily wrong.
Dr. Michael Rich of BCH wrote this today for [WBUR’s] cognoscenti.
The hospital is planning to cut down the tree and pull out the garden in preparation for construction of the new building — thumbing its nose at the state and the DoN process, which has just begun.
Dr. Rich’s essay says, in part:
Cutting down our redwood and destroying our garden, thinking that we can build something better than nature, betrays our commitment to preserving life. Once Prouty Garden is gone, it is lost forever, taking with it the memories and meaning of many lives lost and many more saved at Boston Children’s Hospital — and denying its healing to future patients.
As it happens, just who those future patients will be is an integral part of this whole tug-of-war over the Prouty.
Jim McManus again:
The context of this dispute is that BCH plans to double in size to accommodate international patients, who pay the full costs of care. The hospital has contracts with governments to provide patients (according to their own filings). BCH doesn’t just attract patients from around the world because of its reputation — it actively recruits them.
That would be fine, except that taxpayers and residents of Massachusetts pay for much of the hospital’s costs. And the share of local patients is declining.
So this is as much about market share as health care.
That’s good to know next time Children’s runs one of its gauzy Do It for the Kids ads in the Boston Globe.