SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County commissioners met Friday to discuss the possibility of a third trauma center in the Alamo City.
The proposal by Methodist Hospital to open a new Level II Trauma Center was met with resistance by a top U.S. Army medical official.
"It decreases the quality of care specifically the quality of care at BAMC (Brooke Army Medical Center)," said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Johnson, the top commander at Brooke Army Medical Center, which is among one of two Level 1 Trauma Centers in San Antonio. "I do believe that the addition of more trauma centers in the city of San Antonio presents a distinct threat for our medical training and our DOD medical readiness."
University Hospital is the other Level 1 Trauma Center in San Antonio.
Methodist Hospital has said in the past a Level II Trauma Center would provide the region with even more resources.
"Level I you have to do everything. You have to take care of children, you have to take care of the indigent, you have to do research, you have to do everything. Level II, you don't," said Bexar County Precinct 3 Commissioner Kevin Wolff.
Wolff called the proposal a national security issue and believes the idea is all about making money.
Methodist vice president of marketing and public relations Palmira Arellano released the following statement in the past:
"As the largest health system in the region that has a proven record of quality care, it is our obligation to perform a community health needs assessment and help provide resources to meet those needs. This includes the assessment and research of appropriate trauma levels in the San Antonio region. Our core competency of building partnerships in community led us to the first step in our research, which was to meet with BAMC officials to discuss the impact of adding a higher level of trauma care to our region and, to discuss any collaboration that may be considered in doing such."
The San Antonio City Council and the Bexar County Commissioners Court have publicly voiced their opposition to the idea in the past, but admit they can't do much about it if it comes to fruition.
"We don't have any legislative authority in order to stop these things. Neither does the city of San Antonio," he said. "We just want to make sure that we're getting the word out."