Jackson Memorial Hospital holds privatization meeting

Meeting discusses privatizing emergency room, rape treatment center


MIAMI – It got heated inside a Jackson Memorial Hospital board meeting where doctors, nurses and county leaders asked board members to stop plans to privatize.

Jackson Memorial Hospital's Financial Recovery Board is discussing plans to outsource the hospital's emergency room and Rape Treatment Center.

"Jackson has morphed, in the nation, as the best hospital in the country and I would hate to hear that diminished," said Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan. "So, you don't do the entire hospital, but you take the heart of Jackson. Over 70 percent come through your emergency room."

Board members did add that they have not made any decision and if they did choose to go in a different direction, the Jackson Health System's mission would not be compromised as the emergency room would remain open to everyone.

The same would be done at the Rape Treatment Center, and it would be Jackson, not a contractor, that would set policy regarding treatment.

"Do I want our ER to be run by our staff? Hell yes. Would I ever do anything to limit our services? Never never would I do that," said Board Chair Marcos Lapciuc.

During a committee meeting Thursday, a motion was passed instructing Jackson management to bring labor to the table to come up with solutions to problems in the emergency department, according to Jennifer Piedra, a spokeswoman for the Jackson Health System. A report with suggestions and solutions will be presented to Jackson's Financial Recovery Board by January 2013.

Earlier this month, CEO Carlos Migoya explained in a memo that they are looking to outsource some positions to a private company, including doctors and nurses in the Rape Treatment Center, due to the hospital system's financial problems.