Hospital secrecy needs to end

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Good soap operas stretch what would otherwise be an instantaneous heart attack into a week’s worth of episodes.

They do it to get the viewer coming back for more each day.

But this isn’t General Hospital, and we are tiring of the waiting.

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More than a month ago Natchez Regional Medical Center CEO Scott Phillips explained that the inner workings of the sale of our county-owned hospital needed to be kept in close confidence.

For a while it seemed Phillips was the only person on the planet who knew who was bidding and who wasn’t.

As Phillips closed in on a bidder, he said a confidentiality agreement had been signed that prevented him from disclosing the name of the bidder or the amount of the bid.

But Monday, Phillips selectively told five members of our community everything while still holding up his hand to the rest of us saying, effectively, “No, not yet.”

We’ve elected our board of supervisors to represent us, not to be an elite group of people privy to secret knowledge about public matters.

They aren’t any more special than Joe on Main Street and Sally on Cranfield Road.

The bit in the contract about confidentially doesn’t seem to hold water anymore; at least five people have been told the details.

This is a publicly owned hospital and soap opera sweeps month is nearing its end.

It’s time to talk.