Let’s keep the health facts in mind

Published 12:59 am Thursday, May 22, 2008

As county supervisors and Natchez Regional Medical Center board of trustee members begin to wade through the complicated legal soup ahead of them, it’s important to remember what Supervisor S.E. “Spanky” Felter said Tuesday.

“We just want to do the best thing for the county,” Felter said as supervisors met to discuss the first steps required as the county considers selling the hospital.

As Felter so aptly points out, the key is in keeping our eye on the biggest priorities and finding common ground quickly. Building from that point will get our community where it needs to be further and faster.

Email newsletter signup

Let’s consider a few facts:

4Natchez Regional is out of money due to years of poor management decisions.

4Our community needs the facility to stay open because other area health care facilities cannot handle the volume of patients required should Regional just go away.

4We need to get the county taxpayers out of the equation. Currently, taxpayers are responsible for $18 million of the hospital’s debt, should it go belly up.

4What we’ve been doing at Natchez Regional in the several years or so has not worked.

If we can all agree on those items, the solution ahead gets simple: Natchez Regional needs radical changes to stay alive. The best way to that end is to find a buyer who will run the facility like a business.

We applaud the county supervisors for signing off on the study to look at the viability of selling the hospital. Mississippi state law requires this prior to a potential sale.

If we work together, the plans can move quickly.

If we all start second-guessing one another and jockeying for political position, things could spiral out of control quickly. What’s best for the county?

We think it’s quickly and efficiently working through the process of getting the hospital ready for a potential sale.