Action on hospital privitization plan deferred

Members of SEIU  Nevada, Local 1107, leads protest against UMC privatization

Members of SEIU Nevada, Local 1107, leads protest against UMC privatization

By Bert Eljera

LAS VEGAS – Employees of the University Medical Center held placards and protest signs Wednesday as Clark County commissioners pondered the future of the hospital.

Members of the SEIU Nevada, a union that represents more than 17,500 health care and public service employees across the state, led the protest.

The issue is whether to turn UMC into a private hospital as commissioners look for a way to keep the hospital from going bankrupt.

A final vote was expected Wednesday, but commissioners decided to seek other options and submit legislation to the state’s capital in Carson City to solve the financial problem.

The commissioners will meet again in two weeks.

In 2011, the hospital reportedly lost $250 million, in large part because of providing indigent health care.

But others say the hospital needs a change in leadership that could be more creative in finding solutions to to its financial problems.

The union opposes the privatization plan. On its website,, it says that UMC, the state’s only public hospital is the community’s only safety net.

“It’s current position in an island against 11 for-profit hospitals leaves it as the only place for the poor and uninsured to get care,” it said.

The union said that the hospital can not sustain delivering $250 million in indigent care a year.

“But we’re not seeing any long-term funding solutions from the county, the hospital or community at large,” the union said. “Instead, we’ve got a rush-t0-judgement attempt by county management to ram through a change in governance that isn’t going to bring in one more dime.”


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