Politics around Atlanta Medical Center closure as advocates fear health crisis looms – WABE

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The state of Georgia is set to allocate $130 million to Grady Health System to help the hospital prepare for an influx of patients with the closure of the Atlanta Medical Center (AMC).

The one-time funding comes from federal dollars given to Georgia as part of the U.S. bailout that Democrats passed last year.

The money should help Grady add 180 beds permanently by the end of next year.

“These are not band-aid solutions,” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said. “These are meaningful, carefully thought out and implemented measures designed to ensure that this cornerstone of Atlanta’s health care system rests on a solid foundation for many years to come.”

“Adding 180 or 200 beds to Grady cannot solve a systemic collapse in public health,” said Kemp’s Democratic opponent of Gov. Stacey Abrams. “It’s a cumulative problem. “

Abrams is calling on Georgia to fully expand Medicaid to access billions of federal dollars and reduce the number of uninsured patients in hospitals across the state.

Kemp supported only a partial expansion of Medicaid and limiting the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

The CMA has lost millions in recent years, according to Wellstar Health System, which operates the Level 1 trauma center.

Last (level) one standing...

After the Atlanta Medical Center closes, Grady will be the only Level 1 trauma center in Atlanta. (Al Such/WABE)

A Level 1 Trauma Center treats a wide range of health care needs, from preventative measures to the most serious injuries that are quickly stabilized before often being transferred for additional care. With the AMC closed, Grady would be Atlanta’s only other Level 1 trauma center.

“We are working on a long-term solution to the loss of this facility,” Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts said, speaking after Kemp at an event announcing Grady’s $130 million in aid. . “[I]n any probability [this] going to mean a fresh install somewhere.

Grady is jointly owned by DeKalb and Fulton counties.

Closing the CMA will limit access to emergency and primary care for minorities and low-income people, advocates say.

“It’s the Old Fourth Ward and it’s the only place they come to if they get sick,” Lavern Wright said at a rally to stop AMC’s shutdown this week. “They’re closing that, they’ll have to go all the way downtown to Grady.”

The closure also means that many healthcare professionals will lose their jobs.

“Moving is always tough,” said Dr. Christophe Jackson, who was in attendance at the rally and has worked at AMC for five years. “I think it’s going to be a difficult thing for everyone. It’s not just a disturbance in one area, it’s a disturbance in all areas, isn’t it? »

Wellstar AMC is expected to close in November.

Remembering Page Pate…

Prominent WABE lawyer and legal analyst Page Pate drowned in the waters off Saint-Simon Island on Sunday. He was only 55 years old. He leaves behind his wife, Elizabeth, his two sons, Chatham and Asher, his parents, Robert and Mary Elizabeth and his younger brother, Lane.

Get more from Page’s WABE colleagues as they remember their colleague and friend.

Listen to a Closer Look special on the legacy of Page Pate.

Also in this episode…

—Martha Dalton examined the difference between Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams in their education plans for the state.

—DorMiya Vance reported that food banks in Atlanta fear rising food prices as they see more people in need.

“And we had an unforgettable ride in exotic cars with children who survived or are surviving serious medical problems.

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