At a public hearing last night, New Hanover County Commissioners heard from those in favor and those opposed to the sale of the Regional Medical Center. This public hearing came a few days after the Partnership Advisory Group stated that it supports a sale – rather than maintaining the status quo.
The future of the medical center is in the hands of the County Commissioners. Sometime this fall, those five individuals are expected to cast their final vote.
Inside the socially - distanced courthouse chambers, county leaders heard from 20 speakers. This is Gene Merritt of Save Our Hospital. He says this is not a partnership.
“We're not certain the plan deals with the likely changing landscape of the healthcare industry in the near future. Quit talking to us about you want to partner the hospital. It is very clear. You want to sell it to the highest bidder. The offers of the three finalists are all effectively purchase offers.”
Meanwhile Wilmington Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Natalie English spoke out in support of a partnership.
“We stand by that position today and encourage the County Commission and the Partnership Advisory Group to continue the process that they've been doing for eight months, digging into proposals and vetting. We expect that the group will come back with a good proposal for how we can invest in healthcare to expand and handle population growth that we know is coming.”
The three finalists to acquire the medical center are Atrium, Duke and Novant healthcare systems.
Vince Winkel, WHQR News.