In an expedited demonstration of unity, four separate Midlands governing councils have united behind a call for transparency and open discussions surrounding the planned purchase of four Midlands hospitals.
Fairfield County Council, Kershaw County Council, Lexington County Council and the Columbia City Council all voted this week to take action and ask Prisma Health to slow down the process of the impending acquisition of Providence Hospital, Providence Hospital Northeast, KershawHealth in Camden and the Providence Health-Fairfield Emergency Room in Winnsboro.
“We are understandably concerned about the future of health care in each of our communities,” said Julian Burns, Chairman Kershaw County Council. “We want to start a conversation with Prisma Health and LifePoint to better understand what they have planned for our communities.”
Prior to the March 5 public announcement of the impending sale, none of these elected bodies was informed regarding details of the possible sale and how the change of ownership may impact current hospital employees and community members.
“Our citizens deserve to know the details of this sale and have input into the future of health care in our communities,” said Neil Robinson, Chairman of Fairfield County Council.
“Lexington County Council would also like the Federal Trade Commission to review the impending sale to ensure there will still be healthy competition among Midlands health care providers and citizens will be free to choose where they go for important health care services,” said Scott Whetstone, Chairman of Lexington County Council.
“We look forward to members of our senior leadership team meeting with Prisma Health leadership to determine how this acquisition is in the long term interests of public health and health care in Columbia and the Midlands,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin, City of Columbia.
Fairfield County Council, Kershaw County Council, Lexington County Council and the Columbia City Council all met over the past three days and voted to express their collective concern.