Sunday, November 04, 2007

I wanted to talk about this earlier

This was one of many tidbits that was in Friday's Capitol Fax morning shorts from Michael Sneed of the Sun-Times...
Is Cook County Board President Todd Stroger planning to threaten the closure of Provident Hospital in order to balance the budget?

Is it true Stroger staffers have been busing in Provident patients to budget hearings in order to build up the fear?

Should someone be wrapping Stroger's knuckles with a stethoscope?

In that post I commented...
Provident should be turned over to private hands and this historic hospital that was built to serve mostly black patients should go back to this purpose. Under private hands it won’t worry about being closed because of some scare tactic doomsday scenario contrived by some politician.

By saying this I was going back in history. Provident Hospital was founded for the benefit of the black community back in the late 19th century. It was a training facilities for those blacks who sought to become nurse and doctors. Unfortunately almost a century later it was forced to close its doors due to financial pressures. In 1991 Cook County bought the hospital and place it in the medical system.

Now what does one say about it putting back in private hands. Check out a commentor named Cermak Rd. and his reply...
I don’t think private hands could successfully run Provident. Have you seen the reimbursement rates for Medicaid? Medicare is a little better, but without a good quantity of private patients with good insurance, I’m not sure any private enterprise is going to want to run Provident when they can take that capital and run a more profitable hospital elsewhere.

Someone who understands public health and healthcare delivery needs to take a good look at the Cook County Healthcare system as a whole and decide what is absolutely necessary and what isn’t to deliver quality healthcare to the citizens of Cook County without having extra service that is unneeded. Healthcare should not be a jobs service or a way to drum up contracts for cronies.
He might be right about that. My suggestion was more or less in response to political posturing. If Stroger wants to threaten to close a hospital so that he can balance his budget then I would rather the hospital was in private hands so that he can't do that. I can also understand however that there might not be a lot of money in it for a private company or investors if that may be the proper term to run this hospital.

And also it should be noted that Cermak's last comment is correct, the county needs someone who knows the health field and not some patronage hacks to run the health care system in Cook County.

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