LAS VEGAS -- Clark County commissioners approved a plan Tuesday afternoon to allow the state legislature to consider creating an independent board to oversee the publicly-funded University Medical Center.
Commissioners reasoned that it would help the hospital be more competitive against private hospitals.
UMC's unionized workers said the move could lead to the privatization of the county's only public hospital.
Commissioner Mary Beth Scow said an independent board will help UMC improve its financial shape.
"We want to make UMC more sustainable," she said. "We're going to protect it, and we want it to be there for the people it serves."
UMC estimated it will lose more than $6.5 million by next year and more than $52 million by 2019.
The vote was split 4-to-3, with commissioners Tom Collins, Chris Giunchigliani and Lawrence Weekly voting against it.