No deal for hospital and Harris County

September 17, 2009 4:23:51 PM PDT
No deal. It's the final word on a major project that would have transformed Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital into a full-service community hospital run by the county. It began as a vision to bring critically needed specialty physician services to the uninsured in southwest Houston. READ IT: Read the letter from Memorial Hermann to Harris County

The Nnake family has relied on the doctors at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital for years. Mary Anne Nnake is relieved to hear things are staying the same.

She said, "I think it should stay, seeing as that I just became an adult, and this is my closest hospital."

The deal to sell the medical complex to the Harris County Hospital District began falling apart earlier this week after the hospital district received a sharply worded letter from Memorial Hermann CEO Dan Wolterman. It read in part, "Unfortunately, HCHD has not effectively addressed any of the physicians' key issues during the past four weeks! This lack of timely response has caused significant concern and dissatisfaction among the physicians."

The letter continues with a list of demands, which greatly dismayed the county judge.

Judge Ed Emmett said, "Everybody was being pushed forward, and then to suddenly see a letter, where Memorial Hermann said you've got to do this, this and this by this Friday or the deal is off, you know, to me it was kind of like a car salesman."

Earlier today, the hospital district board voted to withdraw for the deal to buy the Memorial Hermann complex, much to the relief of Commissioner Steve Radack, who never liked it at all.

He said, "This stops something that should have stopped a long time ago, in my opinion."

Memorial Hermann issued a statement saying it was disappointed by the failure of the deal, but from patients to politicians everyone Eyewitness News spoke with today seemed pleased things would stay just as they are.

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