Hospital privatization explored in Saginaw County

SAGINAW — Saginaw County commissioners have formed a committee to look at selling HealthSource hospital, according to The Saginaw News.

Complaints against the facility include a renovation project that ballooned $8.5 million higher than its expected $35.5 million price tag and additional operation costs from health care for its unionized work force.

However, county commissioners have little legal authority over the hospital, although it does receive county millage support. The hospital is directed by trustees appointed by the county board.

In order to sell the facility, officials would have to pay off the hospital’s debt and seek approval from a number of regulatory agencies, according to The News.

The committee is expected to put forth a recommendation in early 2008.

In 1996, MPR recommended a number of solutions to Saginaw’s fiscal problems in an article entitled, "Saginaw Needs Privatization." In it, MPR detailed recommendations for the city, including the privatization of its rubbish collection, cemeteries and wave pool.

References: The Saginaw News, "County may sell hospital," Aug. 22, 2007 The Saginaw News, "Attorney: County can’t sell hospital," Sept. 14, 2007; The Saginaw News, "CEO: Privatize mental health facility," Oct. 21, 2007