New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet and Medical Center CEO John Gizdic discussed the possible sale of the county’s healthcare system Monday in front of more than 500 business people and local leaders. There is strong support – and opposition – to such a move.
Gizdic and Coudriet took questions about the County resolution that would create a request for proposals for potential buyers at a Power Breakfast sponsored by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal. They announced the plan last month. The vote is next week.
“I think we will go forward on September 3rd but that doesn't mean that the process is rushed. All that means is just let's see what responses we get.”
That’s County Commissioner Woody White.
“It's a difficult decision. It's a difficult issue for this community, but it's a necessary one. And I think we are going about it in the right way that engages the community.”
Opponents of the sale say it will hurt the quality of local healthcare and will cause an increase in costs for consumers. They argue for more research, asking what’s the rush?
NHRMC: "Once It's Gone, We Can't Get It Back"
This week there are more public meetings focused on the possible sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. County Commissioners will vote next week, on whether to move forward and accept proposals from possible buyers of the $1.2 billion healthcare system.
Since announcing the County is considering an intent-to-sell resolution, Medical Center CEO John Gizdic and County Manager Chris Coudriet have been holding citizen forums on the topic.
“I was pretty blindsided by the timing of this announcement.”
That’s Kyle Horton, an internal medicine physician. She attended the Greater Wilmington Business Journal Power Breakfast this week, focused on the healthcare system. She opposes a sale.
“I'm concerned that we've been successful for 52 years. We're almost a unicorn on the East coast to be a county hospital that's thriving. And I don't believe due diligence has been done up to this point to look for other options, short of changing the ownership, which, which subverts our local control permanently. And once it's gone, we can't get it back.”
Proponents say a sale or merger is necessary for the Medical Center to develop and grow. They also say passing this resolution doesn’t mean they are selling. It means they are doing additional research and exploring options. It’s likely commissioners will approve the resolution on Sept. 3.
Vince Winkel, WHQR News.