West Michigan Medical Practices Sue Whitmer Over Elective Procedure Ban

Dr. Randal Baker is a Grand Rapids physician and surgeon who says he should be allowed to perform colonoscopies and blood work because medical capacity is not an issue in western Michigan.

Three West Michigan medical practices are suing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over the state’s public health executive orders, claiming they should now be allowed to reopen.

“What’s happening is patients are being hurt by this.” — Dr. Randal Baker, physician

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer restricted non-essential and elective medical and dental procedures in an executive order issued in March to reserve medical capacity and supplies for treating COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Randal Baker is a Grand Rapids surgeon and a plaintiff in the suit. He says he should be allowed to perform procedures such as colonoscopies and blood work because western Michigan has not been hit as hard as other parts of the state and, in his view, medical supply capacity is no longer an issue. 

“We were concerned about overwhelming healthcare facilities and hospitals, and that hasn’t happened here in West Michigan,” Baker says. “We have greater tools in our arsenal right now, we can actually do more testing and measurement.”

He adds that his patients are suffering due to pre-existing conditions that could also add complications if COVID-19 is contracted. 

“What’s happening is patients are being hurt by this,” Baker says. 

Click on the player above to hear Dr. Randal Baker on his suit against Gov. Whitmer to reopen medical facilities for elective procedures.  

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  • Tia Graham
    Tia Graham is a reporter and Weekend Edition Host for 101.9 WDET. She graduated from Michigan State University where she had the unique privilege of covering former President Barack Obama and his trip to Lansing in 2014.