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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, November 29, 2023


A bill giving the territory's hospitals power to hire, fire and buy their own supplies and equipment was approved Wednesday by the Senate Health Committee on a 3-1 vote.
The bill now goes to the Rules Committee and then to the full Legislature.
Eugene Woods, chief executive officer of the Roy L. Schneider Hospital, said autonomy might not be a "cure-all" but it should "significantly impact" the quality of care at the hospital, the V.I. Independent reported.
Ira Mills, acting Budget director, expressed concern about the hospitals' ability to function autonomously without being being able to count on ample financial resources.
Sen. Allie-Allison Petrus, who supported the bill, dismissed Mills' concerns, saying he was sure the hospitals would get financial help from the Legislature and the executive branch whenever they asked for it, the Independent reported.
Because of reliance on general governmental procedures, the hospital has experienced serious problems with employment, procurement and maintenance, Woods said, adding the hospital must have the authority to make decisions.
Voting for the bill were Sens. Petrus, Anne Golden and Almando "Rocky" Liburd. Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg opposed it and Sen. Lorraine Berry, one of the bill's sponsors, was absent.

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