Manatee County losing health care providers

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BRADENTON, FL --- Manatee County health care system may be in jeopardy. County officials say they have what many are calling a provider crisis. According to a study, the county has been losing health care providers.

Officials say that means hospital programs, doctor offices, and clinics are gradually leaving the area. The issue prompted the county to begin compensated many of those agencies for their indigent health care cost.  A total of $9 million a year. That money was coming from an indigent health care fund set up after the sale of the county hospital some 30 years ago, but those proceeds have run out.

The county had hope implementing a 1/2 cent sales tax would have covered the cost but the measure was voted down at the polls.  Now officials say they looking at alternatives including raising property taxes. Coming up on ABC 7 at 6 we explore the problem and solutions.