NEW YORK NURSE: October 2012
Officials in the Southern Tier are taking bids to privatize the Chemung County Skilled Nursing Facility. RNs say “privatization” translates directly into “profit.”
For 144 years, the Chemung County Skilled Nursing Facility has been a lifeline for county residents who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford private care.
County officials have been seeking bids for turning over operation of the Nursing Facility to a private corporation.
A vote on the matter is to be held after the start of the new year. RNs have reached out to officials. Their message: privatizing public health services is an expensive mistake. RNs have spoken before County Legislature, with elected public officials individually and with local community organizations.
“We have a very good reputation,” said Chemung RN Kathy Banks. “And it’s because it’s managed by the county.”
“Privatization translates directly into for-profit,” added colleague Tracy Thomas. “Not to say we don’t all watch the bottom line on the dollar – but they’re in it to make money. Not that they’re not interested in providing the best care that they can – but within the financial budgets that they want to maintain and still make money.”
“Piece of mind is worth everything,” noted Chemung RN Andrea Hall. “Money is not the bottom line.”