ATLANTA (WUPA) — On Tuesday, Nov. 1, after 120 years, Atlanta Medical Center officially ceased operations as a community-serving hospital. Local officials have been working to get the word out to Atlanta area residents about alternative and healing health options.
On Tuesday, crews were removing panels from facilities at the Atlanta Medical Center hours after Wellstar shuttered the hospital’s 120-year-old legacy and shuttered the doors for good.
“At the end of the day, I think there will be a lot of people who will need a lot of medical care who won’t have access to it,” said Erica Dunnings, who lives in the nearby community.
The move prompted backlash from hospital staff, elected officials and patients like Rodney Obie, as well as members of his family whose lives he said were saved at the hospital.
“I’m disappointed because I just had brain surgery and I’m going to have to do my business somewhere else,” Obie said.
State and local leaders have spent weeks preparing other metro hospitals for closure. State officials have spent millions of dollars to add 200 beds over the next year at nearby Grady Memorial Hospital to help make up for some of the backlog.
“We are working to ensure that everyone has access to the right care at the right time and in the right place,” Mayor Andre Dickens said in a video announcing the city’s new website, myhealthatl.org.
The new website lists emergency, primary and behavioral health care locations and other community medical services available in the area.
The new site also connects patients to Wellstar’s Patient Records Division to obtain copies of medical records.
Neighbors said they were cautiously optimistic about the availability of medical resources at other area hospitals, including Emory and Grady.
“That’s the only thing they (Atlanta city officials) can do at this point, but that doesn’t mean every other hospital has the same access,” Dunnings said.
In addition to the resources provided by the city’s website, Wellstar has also provided a list of emergency and medical care locations on its own website at wellstar.org.