Hospital sale travels on familiar road

Published 12:05am Wednesday, October 23, 2013

That déjà vu feeling just keeps getting more and more difficult to shake.

Efforts — again — to sell Natchez Regional Medical Center have reached the “critical” point — again —the man hired to handle the sale said Monday.

Negotiations are ongoing with two potential stalking-horse bidders. The stalking-horse process allows the initial bidder to set the starting bid before an open auction.

The entire sale process of the publicly owned hospital is being handled privately, with the Adams County Board of Supervisors receiving only closed-door updates.

The public only knows that at least two bidders are interested, and that, apparently, the whole deal could be done by February.

The story is not unlike, at this point, the one that unfolded in 2008 and 2009. Then, the process ended without a sale, even though the hospital board and public had been led to believe one was eminent.

The future of the hospital — a major employer, asset and community partner — remains unclear at this point.

Whether it should even be sold, much less to whom, are questions few in the public can truly answer.

Yet, the déjà vu train stays the course while we all wonder.

The public’s only course of action, it seems, is to implore the county supervisors to be diligent, detailed and direct in their supervision of any such sale.

The people of Adams County are counting on you, for decades to come.