At the onset of mediation and lawmakers taking another vote on the state budget, North Carolina Senator Don Davis calls for President Pro Tem Phil Berger and Senate conferees to remove a budget provision cutting $35 million from Vidant Medical Center, the teaching hospital for the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, and to appropriate $28 million over the next two years for planning a new medical school.
The Senate President Pro Tem and Speaker of the House have appointed conferees to a conference committee to negotiate a compromise budget, and negotiations are ongoing.
“Many residents are concerned about their lives and livelihoods right now as well as the future of eastern North Carolina,” said David. These cuts could result in not only a reduction in services but also limit access to health care and job loss.”
The Senate budget that passed 30-16 included a provision cutting $35 million in Medicaid funds from Vidant Medical Center.
The provision was placed in the Senate’s budget after the UNC Board of Governors filed a lawsuit against Vidant.
“Now that all parties have agreed to come together for mediation, we must settle this unease in our part of the state,” said Davis. I am hopeful that much of this will be worked out soon.”
The House’s budget included a provision that provides $28 million over the next two years for planning a new medical school, which was not in the Senate’s budget.
“With an aging facility and a shortage of primary physicians across eastern North Carolina, we really need these planning funds for a new medical school,” said Davis. This is crucial for the future of eastern North Carolina.”
Mediation between the UNC Board of Governors, ECU, and Vidant is set for June 18-19, and lawmakers are working toward voting on a compromise budget by the end of next week.