WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover Regional Medical Center sits nearly in the heart of Wilmington. Ever since New Hanover County announced they were exploring the option of selling the hospital, people have had questions, even the mayor of Wilmington.
With affordability issues and a fast-growing community, Mayor Bill Saffo wants to make sure the community is the top priority throughout this discussion..
“Will it generate a tax base for the community, for the county and for the city?” Saffo said. “Especially if it’s a for-profit operation, as opposed to a non-profit operation.”
New Hanover County owns the hospital. NHRMC CEO John Gizdic says tax impacts depend on who the owner is.
“Most organizations in health care are just like us,” Gizdic said. “They are not for-profit organizations, which means they do not pay property tax. So that would be the same as it is today. There are for-profit entities in health care that do this as well. they do pay taxes.”
Gizdic says this is just one of many things to consider.
Saffo says his main concerns surround the patients and staff. He wants to see the hospital maintain the same level of care and 7,000 jobs, and money from the sale put back into the community.
Finally, Saffo wants to make sure nobody is turned away.
“Those people that go to the hospital and don’t have the insurance that we have been picking up,” Saffo said. “Is that going to be picked up by county taxpayers? Is it going to be picked up by the for-profit or non-profit organization that would be buying this piece of property?”
The county and hospital will hold public meetings on August 19 and 20.
On September 3, county commissioners will vote on whether to actually pursue selling the hospital.