Hospital can survive the blows

Published 12:01 am Thursday, February 28, 2008

If the hospital business in Natchez were a boxing ring, Natchez Regional Medical Center is against the ropes, but certainly not down for the count.

On Tuesday, the hospital’s board of trustees informed the county supervisors that the county-owned healthcare facility was facing financial trouble.

A one, two punch combination of mismanagement and a pile of patients who haven’t paid their bills has sent the hospital whirling toward the ropes.

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Such news is quick to stir the naysayers in the community who are ready to shut the hospital’s doors and call it quits.

Talk of closing the hospital is premature at this point.

That’s a “glass is half full” mentality.

Natchez Regional’s “glass” may be nearly empty at the moment, but it’s not dry and it’s certainly still capable of holding water.

Quick action can get the glass refilled.

The hospital is still a viable entity, one that employs a number of residents and one that has been serving the healthcare needs of this community for decades.

The financial numbers seem staggering to most of us, mostly because it’s difficult for many of us to look at the numbers and put them in perspective.

Millions of dollars in debt seem insurmountable, but remember the hospital does millions of dollars of business each year, too.

Many American families wake up and find themselves in debt and many of them manage to avoid the knockout blow.

We think Natchez Regional can survive the next few rounds, if the board of trustees act quickly and get the support of the supervisors and the community.