Advocates call on Governor to address hospital closures

Posted at 5:21 PM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-06 22:06:37-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It is strange, if not sobering to see a hospital shuttered and shut down. As if it were restaurant that simply went out of business.

But that is what happened in Clay County on Friday when Cumberland River Hospital became the latest victim in a state-wide crisis.

Consequences 'Deadly,' As More TN Hospitals Close

"We really are at a crisis state here in Tennessee," says Rebecca Jolley with Rural Health Association of Tennessee.

While she is encourage that Governor Lee at least acknowledge the problem during his state of the state address she thinks lawmakers are not doing enough to address the problem. What that will mean is more hospitals across Tennessee are likely to shutdown.

"We really have to be aggressive in thinking through how do we transform healthcare in rural areas," she said.

Cumberland River is now the 10th hospital in Tennessee to close. There are now 21 counties without access to an Emergency Room. In the end it's residents who will suffer. Especially when instead of an E.R. the only emergency care these residents have is an ambulance.

"When those ambulances are tied up, then what? You’ll have people that could’ve been saved not making it," Jolley adds.

Only adding to a state-wide crisis that has life or death consequences.