Greenville-based University Health Systems of Eastern North Carolina has told the Dare County Commissioners they need an additional $200,000 per year in order to keep both health care clinics on Hatteras Island up and running. In the past, the county has been assisting with the center's operational costs to the tune of $100,000 per year. The clinics are located in Avon and Hatteras (see below for details), with the Hatteras location likely to be closed if Dare doesn't come up with additional monies.
The board of commissioners voted this month to continue paying the usual $100,000 per year, and let the chips fall where they may. Board chairman, Warren Judge reportedly said, "the county is committed to providing “good and dependable” health care to islanders." However, county manager Bobby Outten said, "there's no knight in white” on the horizon to help bail Dare County out of the problem. Outten said Dare County simply doesn't have the extra money to spend.
EyeonDare would like to question Chairman Judge and Mr. Outten. "Why does Dare County continue to allow University Health Systems, or their designee, to operate the Dare County Dialysis Center in Manteo rent free?"
This for-profit center, located at 115 Exeter Street in Manteo (behind Chesley Mall) was built by Dare County and leased to University Health Systems in 1999, under the pretense they would begin paying rent at such time they showed a profit. A county official recently told EyeonDare that rent has been paid for only one year since that time. Furthermore, the county has just recently started requiring University Health to submit quarterly financial statements to show how well the facililty is doing (after ten years, no less).
EyeonDare would like to know, "How has Dare County ever known if they've been making a profit or not?" Is this another case of our county commissioners dropping the ball and costing the taxpayers of Dare County unnecessary expense? Dare taxpayers even pay some of the utilities and all of the upkeep on the county owned building.
Isn't it time Dare County started holding University Health Systems to the fire? We need their medical services badly; but we don't need to be shafted with paper losses as an excuse to wring more money out of the county.
Healtheast Family Care Hatteras, 57635 Hwy 12, Hatteras, NC 27943. (252) 986-2756 Comprehensive medical care for children and adults.. Emergency care with 24- hour on-call coverage. Specialties include Family Medicine and Internal Medicine. Hatteras Village.
HealthEast Family Care Avon: Hwy. 12, Avon on Hatteras Island. This facility offers family medicine by appointment only and a 24 hour physician on call. (252) 986-2756.