Obviously, our own support for the measure has been bolstered by recent revelations about Singing River Health System mishandling its finances and pension plan.

But the concern is not limited to the Coast.

As the Natchez Democrat editorialized at the time Collins’ bill was killed by inaction, “we had hoped against hope that Senate Bill 2404 might be passed. The measure would have removed the exemption in Mississippi’s Open Meetings Act that allows publicly owned hospitals to hold meetings in private.

“Natchez-Adams County has seen first-hand just how ugly the results of those secretive dealings can be. The county-owned hospital is currently seeking permission to file for bankruptcy, the second time in less than five years.”

Hospitals play an indispensable role in a community. But they should not be sanctuaries of secrecy.

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