More than a month after an East Tennessee Hospital shut its doors, emergency responders say caring for patients is going well.
Scott County's only hospital closed down in May 24 after the previous healthcare provider's contract ran out. Since then, county officials have been working to find a new operator. Next Monday, representatives from two firms interested in running the hospital will even make presentations to the public.
In the meantime, the county's emergency responders have been forced to do the best they can without a hospital. The Scott County Ambulance Service has seven crews who are working within county limits. Director Jim Reed said since the hospital's closure, his service has not had to rely on ambulance trucks from other counties.
"Every call that we've had, we've been able to transport to other counties without any incident," he said.
According to Reed, his crews have not had to rely on Lifestar a lot either. He said they are called in for emergencies only a couple of times every two or three weeks.
"We do use them whenever we need them as the patient criteria fits, but other than that we can transport by ground," Reed said.
Mountain People's Health Council run five indigent care clinics in Scott County. James Lovett, the executive director of the company, said his clinics have not seen an increase former hospital patients since the hospital closed despite the Summer months.
"There's just a lot more accidents during the summer certainly, but we just haven't seen a large increase in the volume of patients coming through our clinics that would go to the hospital," Lovett said.
The county commission meeting will take place at 4:30 p.m. at the Scott County Office Building. Under the details of the proposals submitted by the two interested parties, Pioneer Health Services of Mississippi and Ameris of Nashville.
Under details of the proposals sent by both of those companies, the county said it is hopeful the hospital could be reopened in October.