Clearwater County commissioners want to sell off the county-owned hospital and clinic in Bagley. Officials say the facilities have been losing money. They plan to sell to Cocoon Holding Company of Grand Forks by the end of the year.
A group of nurses in Bagley is concerned about the pending sale. Minnesota Nurses Association spokesman John Nemo says the nurses worry the Grand Forks company doesn't have a clear track record for operating hospitals.
"Our nurses are obviously concerned about how this is going to impact their jobs, but more so, I think, they're more worried about how it's going to impact the community," Nemo said. "I mean, rural hospitals have been closing quite often and being sold and resold, and it does have a dramatic impact on the communities that those hospitals serve."
County officials say owning the hospital and clinic has become a burden on taxpayers. They say selling the facilities would preserve and potentially improve health services.
Nemo said there hasn't been much transparency from the board regarding the potential sale.
"The county board, for whatever reason, is continuing to stonewall our nurses and not answer questions, not just from nurses but from the general public as well, about some of the concerns about the potential new owners," he said.