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EDITORIAL: Deja vu situation developing with regular OCH discussions

November 6, 2012

It seems Oktibbeha County is experiencing its own version of the movie “Groundhog Day” when it comes to discussions about the future of OCH Regional Medical Center.

In the movie, Bill Murray plays a character perpetually experiencing the same day over and over.

Since June, District 2 Supervisor and recently elected Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors President Orlando Trainer has had OCH and “improving health care” at the tip of his tongue. He has broached the topic of health care at almost every board meeting since then and also held educational sessions featuring state consultants who have explained what a transaction could mean for Oktibbeha County. As the board’s leader, Trainer recently said he will continue to make health care and its future his top priority.

Through all of this, OCH supporters founded their own group to raise awareness of what the hospital means for the community and held their own community meetings. At nearly every board meeting since a possible hospital transaction was first mentioned, OCH supporters, employees and administrators have made their presence and feelings on the matter known.
Besides two flyers sent to county residents through the postal system, few public comments have been made supporting a transaction. A few citizens made their pro-transaction sentiments known during the earliest of public informational sessions, and none have actually approached the board during citizen comments since.

If there are citizens interested in pursuing a hospital transaction, it seems they are more willing to take an indirect approach with these flyers or by speaking with their supervisors in private than they are willing to publicly face the issue. These citizens should come to board meetings, face their opposition and make their feelings known to supervisors.

Trainer says he’s open to public sessions separate from usual board meetings to discuss a number of county issues. Maybe it’s time to hold one last meeting and let everyone come out and put their cards on the table.

Supporters of a transaction should speak now or forever hold their peace. The county has a number of issues — education, infrastructure and so on — to tend to without being perpetually stuck in the same conversation.

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