|Ocala, FL -
April 16, 2012|
Published: Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:30 a.m.
Thanks to the Munroe Regional Medical Center trustees for their important decision to give the “owners” of Munroe a voice in its future direction. A yes vote on the November bond-issue question will provide the opportunity for the Munroe board and trustees to: (1) delay the $155 million Munroe expansion program or limit its scope until the local economy improves; (2) investigate limited affiliations with other not-for-profit health systems that will not eliminate local control; (3) consider local options that can raise funds to offset the cost of charity care; (4) look to the Munroe Foundation for increased capital support; and (5) determine where the battle about Obamacare ends up — that decision could have a major impact on the future of all hospital systems, profit and not-for-profit.
I am optimistic that the County Commission will not use its upcoming appointments of two new Hospital District trustees to wage an ideological war by appointing people who will allow the public to vote on Munroe's financing. Our community deserves participation in the decision-making process over political game-playing in determining the long-range direction of one of our greatest community assets.
The commissioners should search for two new trustees who have the skills and experience to carry out the due diligence process in evaluating the four for-profit finalists who want to lease Munroe. If the bond issue fails, the alternative is to select one of these four finalists to run Munroe. That is an extremely important decision for our community and needs the very best local talent available to help assure a sound decision.