Patients of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital are asking county officials to attend a meeting Thursday to help answer their questions about the upcoming transition.
This week Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos announced inpatient care and emergency room services will end Dec. 31. Petelos says those services will transition to other hospitals that will agree to take Cooper Green patients.
The Cooper Green Mercy Hospital Advisory Board will be meeting Thursday morning. Board Chairwoman, Maralyn Mosley has invited Deputy County Manager Walter Jackson and county healthcare consultant Otis Story to provide an update on the transition.
"[For] those of us who don't have any no other way receive healthcare but through the indigent healthcare fund," Mosley said.
Mosley is 74-years-old and she depends on the hospital for medical care. Mosley has led the opposition to ending inpatient care. Mosley and other patients want information on the transition.
"Tell us what plan they have in place for those of us who are patients at the hospital," Mosley said.
Some of their unanswered questions include which hospitals have agreed to take in Cooper Green patients and how much money from the indigent care fund has been budgeted to pay for those patients' expenses at other hospitals.
"We don't know what's going on. Nobody has taken time or consideration to notify patients to where we are going to go for medical treatment? What will happen to us?" Anna Brown, Cooper Green patient said.
Petelos will not be at the meeting but the county manager plans to send out up to 40,000 letters to those on file as patients to inform them of the transition and how it will work.
"The bottom line, no one will be dying in the streets. We will continue to provide services as we move forward into a new system. It will be better than before," Petelos said.
Mosley has to be convinced that is true.
"People like myself who are poor and no where else to go are going to be in terrible shape," Mosley said.
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