(a) The Legislature declares that a crisis in health care costs exists, that one important approach to deal with this crisis is to have widespread citizen participation in hospital decision making and that many hospitals in West Virginia exclude from their boards important categories of consumers, including small businesses, organized labor, elderly persons and lower-income consumers. The Legislature further declares that nonprofit hospitals receive such major revenue from public sources and are so crucial in health planning and development that it is necessary to require consumer representatives on their boards of directors. Therefore, the Legislature determines that nonprofit hospitals and hospitals owned by local governments should have boards of directors representative of the communities they serve.
(b) As used in this section, "applicable hospitals" means all nonprofit hospitals and all hospitals owned by a county, city or other political subdivision of the state of West Virginia.
(c) At least forty percent of the boards of directors of applicable hospitals shall, on or before the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-four, be composed of an equal portion of consumer representatives from each of the following four categories: Small businesses, organized labor, elderly persons and persons whose income is less than the national median income. Special consideration shall be made to select women, racial minorities and handicapped persons.
(d) The provisions of this section may be enforced by the director of health, or by any citizen of the county wherein any offending hospital is located, by the filing of an action at law in the circuit court of such county.
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