Novant Heath states in spite of their best effort, they could not adjust their business model to sustain profitability.
I guess it could be said they are callous for walking away, but you know it was no secret when they came here; it was not to lose money or function as a charity.
It was also no secret for decades others tried and failed to sustain this hospital.
I am sure they made promises, and our local leadership was more than willing to take their offer. Understandably so, they were not getting overrun with offers.
Nurses, doctors, and those who live by the Hippocratic Oath, need to make a living and pay their bills, but healing, and caring for the suffering is the call they answer. No one does what they do just for the money. Bless them all, every one of them.
There is a myth that all doctors are wealthy. I am sure some are, but today most are not. They pay a high personal price for the compensation they receive. The hours are nothing short of brutal.
They are expected to be 100 percent correct, 100 percent of the time, an unrealistic expectation.
For many reasons, I could not do what they do. So again, bless them all.
I feel the lack of consideration given to our doctors, nurses, and others by the Novant executives in this process is unconscionable and inexcusable.
Corporate executives have an oath to make a profit. In business this is not a bad thing, it is a necessary thing. Make no mistake, that is what motivated Novant to come to Franklin County.
While Novant operated the facility as a non-profit, in the fine print it does not translate to, not for profit. My understating is Novant has two billion dollars --that is with a "B" -- in cash and short-term securities.
If this is the case, in my opinion, shutting things down the way they did was very callous. I would go so far as to say it smacks of being a bit spiteful.
This said, financials show quarterly, and year-after-year, Novant suffered mounting loses, in the tens of millions of dollars. Unlike the federal government, they cannot just print more money.
Only the totally delusional do not see the national disaster heading our way with that business model.
No business could sustain such losses.
Until such time as county leadership understands everything flows from economic development, nothing is going to change for Franklin County. You cannot do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.
Novant owns a large part of this failure. The failure, however, is not just theirs, and is a symptom of a much bigger problem. Count the empty buildings in Franklin County, look at the property taxes. Look at the millions of dollars wasted. Ask yourself, would you start a business here?
It is not hard to see why Novant decided to cut their losses. This said, I see their parting words as disingenuous at best. Hollow is how I will characterize Novant's corporate statement of, "We care deeply about the patients we have served over the years at Franklin Medical Center, as well as the hospital physicians and team members." If this were sincere and true, why did they not give more notice to their patients, and staff?
What about extending common professional courtesy to the county leadership, and other health care providers? My understanding is they were just as surprised to learn of the immediate closing as everyone else.
If the closing of our only hospital is not a big deal, then what is? How is it even possible our leaders were surprised by this if they have their hands on the pulse of what is happening?
Thinking and reading back to the public hearings about medical facilities in the county, I remember being astonished by the absence of our county leadership's voices. Of particular note was their lack of advocacy for the once proposed new hospital by HMA in the southern part of the county.
I also remember the lawyers being sent in to fight Novant's day surgery facility in Youngsville.
So maybe some of this explains why no real notice was given.
Something is conspicuously missing from the story about the loss of our hospital. It is the clear and open statement from the County Manger and Board of County Commissioners about what the plan is now, and what people are to do. This matter should be the subject of a press conference. Not answering this is a clear and open betrayal of the public trust.
Before I close, I would be remiss if I did not address a recent article blaming the hospital closing on Raleigh and the Republicans. I could write a great deal on this partisan rhetoric, but feel one word best describes it, and that word is pathetic. This is our problem, and our leaders need to solve it.
This is the time for a leader to come forward. Who is it going to be?
If no one does, let it be a referendum for change in 2016. Vote every one of them out of office.