To the editor of THE EAGLE:

Severe crises demand radical responses. As Professor Maynard Seider so ably pointed out in an April 13 op-ed ("Product of a broken health care system,") the closing of North Adams Regional Hospital endangers both the health and the economic welfare of North County and nearby southern Vermont.

He notes that the closing is a symptom of our broken health-care system. But more than just our health-care system is broken; our whole system of priorities determined by private management (whether for-profit or nonprofit) leads to this sort of reckless abandonment of public needs.

State and local leaders are trying to save health services and hundreds of well-paying jobs in the region, and NARH facilities should be reclaimed by eminent domain if necessary. But assuming there is some success in doing so, let’s put any such services under joint community-worker management, management that will be responsible to local needs rather than any bottom line.

BRENT KRAMER

New York, N.Y.

The writer is an assistant professor of economics at the City University of New York, and a part-time Pittsfield resident.