The Durham Chamber of Commerce, doctors at Durham Regional and the Durham Regional Board of Trustees all favor Duke, the only not-for-profit bidder still in the race. But county officials say along with Duke, they're still taking a serious look at California's Tenet Healthcare and Florida's HMA.
Officials say they don't want quality health care to get lost in the debate. It's been a long and complicated battle over who will lease Durham Regional from the county, difficult even for those who have to make the decision. Durham County Commissioner Becky Heron says there's a lot of information to sort through yet.
Sandra Gooch's mother is having hip replacement surgery at Durham Regional. She says prefers the hometown bid over the out-of-towners.
Financial problems forced the county to put Durham Regional up for lease before it became too much of a tax burden. The hospital board says the lease deal won't be a burden on patients.
Trustees Chairman George Quick says the lease deal won't be a burden on patients.
The Durham County Manager will recommend one of the three bids Monday. County Commissioners will then take a vote. The commissioners and the Durham Regional Board of Trustees all have to agree on the choice.
Hospital staff say they worry about a for-profit company coming in and cutting jobs and other expenses. Those who support the for-profit companies express concerns about Duke having a monopoly in Durham County.
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