73-year-old Georgia hospital closes

The 25-bed vital access healthcare facility revealed strategies in July to close. The hospital stated its closing due to financial strain gotten worse by the COVID-19 pandemic..

COVID-19 was the “death knell,” Southwest Georgia Regional board Chair Steve Whatley informed TIME. “That pushed us over the cliff.”.

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With the closure of Southwest Georgia Regional, Randolph County is the 55th in the state to have no hospitals, according to TIME. The closest medical facility is in Eufaula, Ala., about 30 minutes away..

Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center in Cuthbert closed Oct. 22, making it the 8th rural health center in the state to shut down because 2008, according to the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research Study.

The 73-year-old hospital required new medical equipment and more than $10 million for structural enhancements prior to the pandemic.

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The hospital “had been running on the verge for years and before the COVID-19 crisis, we had actually not been able to complete a workable plan to make sure the hospitals future success,” Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center CEO Kim Gilman informed WFXL Fox. “Once the crisis hit, it simply pressed our medical facility past the point of no return.”.