DURHAM — The multi-million dollar debate over who controls Durham Regional Hospital is over. If commissioners can work out the details, and if the federal government approves, Duke University will lease the financially ailing hospital from Durham County.
A split vote brings Duke and Durham Regional together. A last minute dose of deal-sweetening convinced three commissioners to vote for Duke. Two others, including Becky Heron, wanted more time to look over the late offer.
Millions will change hands in the deal, but what about people who can't even scrape up enough for a check up? The Lincoln Community Health Center, an extension of Durham Regional, delivers care based on people's ability to pay. Duke takes over there as well.
Eliseo Pacheco is out of work with four children and another on the way. He doesn't think there'll be a problem with Duke taking over.
Durham resident Schuyler Jones says he thinks Duke may have too much power.
Health center patients aren't the only ones concerned with a health care monopoly. The Federal Trade Commission also has to sign off on the hospital merger.
Non-profit Duke beat out two for-profit health care organizations. Duke has proposed a 20 year lease with an up-front payment of $41 million. Yearly payments would total $7 million.