ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – Some local leaders are now at odds over whether to push to keep the Atlanta Medical Center alive.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens sent a second forceful letter regarding the AMC closure saying in part, “Wellstar must provide immediate answers to the community about what you are doing to mitigate the harm to the community from this closure.”
“I was not disappointed, nor was I surprised,” Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robb Pitts said.
He says he is sympathetic to Wellstar’s decision.
“Closing the south side was a business decision on their part. This closing on November 1st was and is a business decision,” said Pitts.
Pitts says Atlanta will be able to manage with just one Level 1 trauma center.
“From a medical or clinical point of view, level 2 hospitals offer the same type of service. Therefore, losing Wellstar’s Tier 1 designation does not affect our ability to serve those who would need a Tier 1 hospital,” Pitts said.
FULL AMC CLOSURE COVERAGE
It’s true according to the American Trauma Association, Level 1 and Level 2 hospitals provide similar services.
One difference is the research requirements.
Another is a Level 1 trauma center with a 24/7 hospital critical care physician; as for level 2, they are on standby and should be able to respond within 15 minutes.
Pitts said Fulton County will continue to contribute funds to Grady Hospital and the county has no plans to raise taxes. If there are budget issues, he said the county will look at what services it can cut.
“Emergency rooms are almost at capacity, so we’re looking at a plan that will mostly involve helping Piedmont and Emory until we get a long-term solution,” Pitts said.
Pitts also said he consulted with Fulton County attorneys and there is nothing they can do to stop the closure.
Dickens reiterated that they will continue to explore every possible option.
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