Lubbock's City Manager, Lee Ann Dumbauld, says the Health Department will stop immunizations starting next Wednesday. The City Council will meet to discuss the future of the Health Department and its services on Thursday at 7:30 AM. Councilman Paul Beane says the Health Department may not be in the same building but the services will still exist.
City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld recently gave her proposal on what will happen to the Health Department's services on Friday at the Board of Health meeting; amid strong criticism from the attending public."The Health Department building will close but all the services will continue to be provided," Dumbauld explained.
"This issue is not dead," Councilman Paul Beane explained. "I was approached by a lady at the board of health meeting and she said well I guess your mind is made up and I said if my mind were made up I wouldn't be here," Beane continued.
Councilman Beane says there is much to discuss this Thursday and he is asking a lot of questions and looking into all the options. "I believe the health department as we know it is going to close," Councilman Beane said. However, the Board of Health wants The City Council to wait 90 days and look further into the issue.
A heated discussion between board of health member Dr. Brian Carr and the City Manager led to many angry responses on our KCBD NewsChannel 11 facebook page from viewers upset that Dumbauld wouldn't answer more questions. "Your not going to answer anymore questions?" Dr. Carr asked. LeeAnn responded, "I'm Done. I have given my presentation, thank you for having me."
"It is the job of the City Council and elected officials to answer to the taxpayers. LeeAnn was only there to give a presentation and in some instances at the Board of Health meeting I felt she was treated rudely," Councilman Beane explained.
The Lubbock City Charter makes clear that the City of Lubbock must have a health department so Councilman Beane says there is no question that the services will continue. "The city charter requires the city of Lubbock to maintain a health department and I think were doing that."
Immunizations are expected to be subcontracted to other clinics but Dumbauld says there will be a gap in Immunizations provided by the city between August 31st and September 8th.
However that is something Councilman Paul Beane says he wont support. "That gap is 8 days and I am opposed to having any gap in the cities ability to provide immunizations for our citizens," Councilman Beane said.
Several citizens are already signed up to voice their opinions to the City Council this Thursday and Councilman Beane says he will be listening. "I want them to show up at City Hall because this issue is on the agenda for discussion. We have to keep services the same and if possible we need to cut expenses and I think that's exactly what we've been able to do," Beane said.
Councilman Todd Klein has released a statement: "I am entertaining waiting 60 to 90 days to insure we have the confidence of the public."
There will not be a vote on whether or not the health department remains open because it will be included with the vote on the budget. However, Councilman Beane says they intend to discuss the city managers proposal and make suggestions.
The City Manager has already received three proposals back from clinics looking to subcontract the immunizations for the city and KCBD Newschannel 11 will be at the meeting on Thursday.