Voice of the people: Michael Lightsey

July 2, 2012 9:44:18 AM

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More thought should be given to hospital sale 

 

In my 40 years as a resident here, I have heard praise and criticism of Oktibbeha County Hospital. Often, pros and cons are part of the subjective nature of hospital experiences whether it is a renowned world-class medical center or a more traditional facility primarily servicing a community or region.  

 

Not until Supervisor Trainer, just prior to the OCH bond issue of 2008, began to mention the sale of the hospital had I ever heard a supervisor, or any other community leader, bring this up. To my knowledge, after he could not garner support from the other supervisors to sell OCH and the bond issue to expand OCH he opposed passed by 61 percent, Mr. Trainer was silent on the hospital issue. That is until after he was reelected in 2012. With the ear of two new supervisors and elections nearly four years away, he now refers to himself as the poster-child for the cause. 

 

In the articles and editorials I have read, I have seen no substantive reasons why this became an issue for him and why he pursues it other than for his general statements of improved health care. He has said the money from the sale could be used for other county services (roads primarily), but I have not seen from him a plan of any kind. 

 

No real vision or plan engenders a "gut fear" for me that a one-time economic windfall to the county coffers could be a driving force behind the sale of OCH based on the gamble that a new owner will not let health care crumble.  

 

My question is basically this to Mr. Trainer and all the supervisors: In deciding to sell or not to sell, what is your vision and plan for advancing the welfare of Oktibbeha County residents? My hope is that the two new supervisors who voted with Mr. Trainer, along with the two who did not, will study the past and learn what impact your decisions will have toward the long-term health and general well-being of this county. This to me should begin from within before it is out-sourced at $30,000. There are so many other financial needs in this county.  

 

Michael Lightsey 

 

Starkville