Future still uncertain for Scott County's only hospital

Future still uncertain for Scott County's only hospital

Posted:
The hospital closed in May. The hospital closed in May.
Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals says he had hoped to have the hospital open by December. Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals says he had hoped to have the hospital open by December.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

ONEIDA (WATE) - Scott County's only hospital closed in May after the county's contract with former operator Health Management Associates, Inc. expired.

The county has been in negotiations since July with SM Promen to reopen the hospital.

Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals says he had hoped to have the hospital open by December. During Monday night's commission meeting, however, questions arose over the proposed contract.

Mayor Tibbals told commissioners SM Promen wants to be released from a covenant with the county after two years. The covenant would ensure the building is used as a hospital.

The commission narrowly voted no to releasing Promen from all restrictive covenants after two years.

The mayor says now the attorneys will let Promen know the commission's decision and see if there is a counter offer.

The mayor says an emergency commission meeting will be held Wednesday.

The mayor says the next couple days are important in determining the future of the hospital and when it will reopen.

He says Promen could negotiate, but if the company declines commissioners could have to start the process all over to find a someone to run the hospital.

Each day that goes by without a hospital is costing the county more money in security fees and legal costs.

Many in the community do not like the thought of not having a hospital in their county. According to the director, the ambulances services are strained due to the fact they have to drive patients 45 minutes to the nearest emergency room, where they used to only drive 15 minutes.

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