LETTER: Keep political hands off healthcare
I am very disappointed in the recent actions taken by a small group of Greenville politicians to harm, and in fact sell the Greenville Health System as a result of a power struggle between these legislators and the local leadership of the system. GHS was formed by an act of the State Legislature in 1947 and that legislation called in part for GHS to be
".....an institution with an independent board of trustees, free from the control of either city or county (delegation) authorities, which would be charged with the duty of operating the hospital and its expanded facilities for the benefit of the taxpayers and residents of Greenville County...” – Act 432 of 1947
What we are seeing now is exactly what the originators of the enabling legislation feared, local politicians attempting to control or influence the decisions of the Health System leadership who are charged with ensuring the delivery of the finest care possible to our communities. As important as that independence was in 1947, it is even more critical in today's rapidly evolving healthcare delivery environment.
We cannot allow local politicians to hamstring the hospital leadership's ability to manage strategically and we certainly cannot allow them to sell off our hospital system to the highest bidder which would most likely be a for-profit system headquartered far away from the Upstate of South Carolina. The results to affordable and high-quality patient care would be devastating as would be the loss of the millions of dollars in charity care and community benefit currently enjoyed by our communities. Our taxpayers enjoy the benefits of this locally controlled not-for-profit system without contributing a penny of taxpayer funds to it. Scores of local venders and suppliers would see substantial business lost to outside competition and families employed by the hospital system and its many suppliers would be impacted.
I encourage all citizens to call or write their state legislatures and ask them to vigorously oppose the effort to sell the Greenville Hospital System and with it, Laurens County Memorial Hospital.
Jayhue Weisner Sr.
Past Member Laurens County Council
Contacts: Danny Verdin 864 444 5271; Mike Pitts 864 923 2925; Mark Willis 864 230 0135.
RELATED: UPSTATE SENATOR ASKS FOR VOTERS TO WEIGH IN ON GOVERNANCE OF GREENVILLE HEALTH SYSTEM
Senator Corbin Wants Greenville County Voters To Have A Say In Ballot Referendum
COLUMBIA — Senator Tom Corbin, R-Travelers Rest, today introduced a joint resolution to call for public input involving the governance makeup and commitment of assets for the Greenville Health System (GHS).
Senate Bill 1119 sets a non-binding, advisory referendum to be held the same time as the 2018 general election in Greenville County to question the county’s favor for whether GHS should be governed by a board of directors appointed by the delegation, and to decide whether GHS decision to lease its assets to a private entity be deemed null and void.
“I hear from people of Greenville County every day and they feel like their voices are not being heard in decisions involving GHS, a publicly-owned asset,” Senator Corbin says. “The voters of Greenville County ought to have an opportunity to weigh in on these important decisions.”
As drafted, the questions put before the qualified electors of the county at the 2018 advisory referendum will read as follows:
· “Shall the Greenville Health System (GHS) be governed solely by a board of directors nominated and appointed by the Greenville County Legislative Delegation?”
· “Shall any agreement by the Greenville Health System (GHS) to lease its assets to a private entity for up to one hundred years for one dollar a year be deemed null and void?”
Voters will place a check or cross mark in the square after the word ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ based on their preferred response.