Riverside Health System has filed a Motion for Temporary Injunction to halt all actions of the Eastern Virginia Health Systems Agency, the publicly funded body which conducts reviews by hospitals for certificates of public need. Riverside has also asked the court to issue a writ of mandamus that would require the EVHSA to comply with legal requirements for its composition.
“Only two of the five planning districts in Eastern Virginia are represented on the board by consumers” said Riverside President Richard J. Pearce.
“The EVHSA is in direct violation of the law and as corporate citizens of the Peninsula we have had enough of their biased decision making,” Pearce added.
“Reviews and recommendations are made by southside interests, restraining healthcare development on the Peninsula and Williamsburg - all by an illegally composed planning body that is quite frankly flaunting the law. The EVHSA is not above the law.” Pearce said.
Despite overwhelming community and physician support for a second small hospital in Williamsburg, the Norfolk-based EVHSA recently issued a recommendation for denial to the State Health Commissioner for the proposed Doctors Hospital of Williamsburg. The Commissioner’s own staff had recommended approval for that project. The Commissioner subsequently denied the application relying in part on the EVHSA analysis, although he noted in his decision the fact that the EVHSA Board was not properly constituted.
“Clearly, the Virginia General Assembly enacted the law regarding Board composition to provide a fair and balanced review of these vital matters – by citizens representing a cross section of the community,” Pearce added.
“It’s time consumers on the Peninsula stood up to this myopic Norfolk agency. We believe the citizens of the Peninsula and Williamsburg region do not want Norfolk dictating their health care choices.” Pearce said.
Riverside’s legal motions will be heard at 10:00 AM in Norfolk Circuit Court on Thursday, May 4. Riverside seeks to halt all actions and reviews by the EVHSA until it satisfies the court that it is in compliance with state law.
Published: May 1, 2006