Source: WRAL online ⇥
A CBC Editorial: Friday, Dec. 23, 2016; Editorial# 8101
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company
Efforts to revive the hospital in Belhaven in rural Eastern North Carolina are, like a medical patient, on life support. A community-based group, seeking to buy the now-closed facility and reopen at least portions of it, was in a Raleigh courtroom earlier this week trying to save the facility. A temporary court order has, for now, halted demolition of the building.
The hospital was closed in July 2014 by then-owners Vidant Health. Since then, those with medical emergencies must travel a minimum of 3o miles for emergency care.
This week a Wake County Superior Court judge heard arguments regarding the current owners’ desire to demolish the building and sell the site, as well as from those, including Belhaven Mayor Adam O’Neal, who want to return it to use as a medical facility
The reality, however, is the issue is more than the fate of a tiny hospital in a small town in rural Beaufort County. It is illustrative of the struggle going on in rural communities throughout North Carolina and the nation. In the last six years more than 75 rural hospitals have closed across the nation, half of them in the South and three, including Belhaven, in North Carolina.
We doubt the General Assembly is any more interested now, than before, in expanding participation in Medicaid – even if it is almost fully federally funded.
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