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‘Privatization’ very nasty word to hospital workers

Date Posted: 2008-11-27

A budget analysis on the merits of privatization is complete at Okinawa Prefecture’s hospital as leaders look for solutions to major financial problems, and workers aren’t liking what they are hearing.

Privatizing the state-owned hospital tops the list of potential solutions to the financial crisis spawned by a decrease of more than ¥10 billion in its operating budget, but even among the analysis team there’s dissention. Hospital workers listening to explanations this week say they’re totally opposed to the idea.

The hospital’s study group can’t reach unanimous agreement on what to do, leading senior hospital executives to caution “let’s think more carefully about the merits of the concept” of privatizing the hospital operations. Some team members caution “it’s too dangerous to go private,” while others insist “It has to go private.”

Hospital workers argue “the prefecture’s own hospital means it is everyone’s property. We need to keep it.” A switch to private status would, the works, complain, means “all workers are no longer public civil servants.” The prefecture argues it doesn’t “have the money to pay all workers. We really need to take the hospital private.”

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