DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Davidson County residents took their concerns about who would be in control of their health to a commissioner’s meeting.
The commissioners have been discussing the possibility of assuming control of the Davidson County Board of Health for the last couple of months, but they voted four to three to not take over.
Those in favor of the move called it “efficient,” saying that the Board of Health would be run the same as other departments like planning and zoning, but those against it say that the most qualified people that represent different health professions should stay in those roles.
Commissioners agreed, saying that the resolution would complicate things in Davidson County.
“If we proceed with this resolution where would we get the people to replace? Because we have to have certain standards and certifications to serve on that board,” Fred McClare, the chairman of the commissioners, said.
Under North Carolina law, all counties are required to provide public health services, including a local health department, a board of health and a health director. County health departments can be run by an appointed board of health or be run by the board of commissioners acting as a board of health, which is what was being proposed in Davidson County.
The resolution would have given the county commissioners more input on public health policies, turning the Board of Health into an advisory board that would need approval for any decisions about public health.
The turnout at the meeting showed that the citizens of Davidson County care about who’s in charge.
“The county health department has always been managed by people with experience managing health situations,” one speaker said during the meeting. “I’m sorry, with no disrespect to any of you sitting up there, I’ve done research and none of you have a degree in anything that would qualify you to make decisions for the health care of the citizens of this county.”
Out of North Carolina’s 100 counties, around two dozen have put their boards of health under the county commissioners, but Davidson County will not be joining their ranks.