Seven rural hospitals in Georgia have closed since 2008, and two more are slated to shut down next month.
Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center, a 25-bed critical access hospital in Cuthbert, announced plans in July to close in late October. The hospital said it’s closing due to financial strain worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hospital “had been operating on the brink for years and before the COVID-19 crisis; we had not been able to finalize a workable plan to ensure the hospital’s future success,” Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center CEO Kim Gilman told WFXL Fox. “Once the crisis hit, it simply pushed our hospital past the point of no return.”
Like Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center, five of the seven rural hospitals in Georgia that have closed since 2008 were critical access hospitals, according to the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.
Northridge Medical Center, a 90-bed hospital in Commerce, Ga., is also slated to close by the end of October, less than seven years after it opened its doors. The hospital cited a decline in patient volume as a reason for the closure.
“In recent years, the area has grown and its population’s healthcare needs have changed,” the hospital said in a statement announcing the closure. “The demand of hospital inpatient services offered by NMC have continued to decline even in light of recent COVID-19 activity.”
The two Georgia hospitals will join 15 other rural hospitals across the U.S. that have closed since the beginning of this year.
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