It seems as if there’s a new development every day in the ongoing saga involving the mental health care units at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

In a nutshell, the hospital says it bleeds money through those operations, mainly because many of the patients who should be covered by Medicaid are not. So the hospital isn’t paid for that very expensive care.

Medical Center officials contend the county isn’t qualifying many of those who should be on Medicaid. The bottom line is that the youth and adult mental health shortfalls total $2.4 million.

Preliminary steps have been taken to shut down the Bridges Child and Adolescent Behavioral Unit. Similar steps have been put off temporarily to do the same with the adult mental health care facility. Talks on the county and state level are underway to see if the crisis can be averted.

Niagara County is famous for its parochial attitudes. We see it in our news coverage of various events and issues all the time. Folks in the Falls couldn’t care less about what happens in Lockport and North Tonawanda. Those communities have similar attitudes in the opposite directions. Living in three different worlds, even though they’re only a few miles apart, tends to divide us. It is a real roadblock to progress on a countywide level.

While this story is physically playing out in Niagara Falls, this is one case where citizens all across the county should be paying attention. The mental health units at Memorial Medical Center serve all of Niagara County and, for that matter, Orleans County as well. Discontinuing these services in Niagara Falls would quickly have a ripple effect across the county. Those from Lockport or Newfane or NT who are now treated in Niagara Falls would likely have to go to at least Buffalo, if not farther away, for mental health services.

The clock is ticking on the Bridges facility. The rest of the mental health picture at Memorial is uncertain. But this isn’t just a Niagara Falls problem to be addressed in the city. It is worthy of attention from public officials and everyday citizens all across the county.