Update: New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet said he had not received any instructions from the Board of Commissioners to respond to Wilmington’s request to slow down the RFP process for the potential sale of the hospital and that the county has no current plans to do so. Coudriet said was “surprised” at the timing of the resolution, adding that it was “ironic” that Wilmington would be considering the resolution at the same time.
NHRMC President John Gizdic said the process of exploring a sale, which is guided by state statute, included ample opportunity for public input and education. Gizdic said the overall process would take at least a year, and possibly more, and the what Wilmington was asking for was exactly what the county and the hospital are doing.
WILMINGTON — The City of Wilmington has prepared a resolution asking New Hanover County leadership to slow down on the potential sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
According to a resolution in City Council’s agenda for its upcoming meeting on Oct. 15, if passed, the request would be for the county to table to the topic for a year to allow for further public discussion and transparency.
The resolution requests, “That, action by the County Commission on the proposed Request for Proposal be tabled in order to hold extensive community discussion, including addressing the concerns of community members who are skeptical of the sale option, over the next year to consider relevant healthcare issues, healthcare funding, hospital economics, medical advances, antitrust issues, and other important topics so that the community may have a thorough appreciation of the issues and be confident that their best interest is paramount.”
According to the intent and purposes of the resolution, NHRMC has served the community for 52 years and has experienced plenty of growth as a locally-controlled hospital.
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But there have been plenty of concerns from residents and county leaders have been asked — to no avail — to pump the brakes on the talks of selling the hospital.
“Whereas, health care financing concerns have been raised including local funding, potential legislative actions, and changes in national health policy by government and insurers. Many citizens have asked about these issues and how they factor into the hospital’s future and how they would apply to any potential new owner and these questions still need to be addressed, and Whereas, many citizens have asked about these issues and sought to understand how these issues factor into the hospital’s future and how they would apply to any potential new owner,” according to the resolution.
City Council will meet on Tuesday to vote on the resolution. It’s worth noting that the resolution is simply a request and would be non-binding on New Hanover County Commissioners’ actions if approved.