I recently listened to Belhaven’s Mayor Adam O’Neal as he announced an investment group was negotiating with the Pantego Creek Limited Liability Corporation to buy the closed Pungo District Hospital for $1 million. This rural medical facility, which Vidant closed in 2014, is on harbor-side prime real estate property. Because rumors have circulated related to the threat of the hospital building being bulldozed to provide space for luxury condos, individuals have been camping out in tents near the site for the past month to prevent this action.
Although this agreement may represent being one step closer to reopening this hospital, the concern related to its finances remains. Without the passage of the Medicaid expansion in our state, many of the residents of Belhaven and the nearby area cannot afford their health care needs and/or the emergency room access this hospital would provide.
We need a governor who will place people’s lives above wealthy investors and will guarantee basic health care to all living in his state. The people in North Carolina must remember this come November. It is past time for a change.