Gadsden County officials are making strides to reopen the hospital that was closed in November after a state agency found several violations. Friday, county commissioners unveiled a plan to make that a reality.
Since November of last year, Gadsden County residents have relied on paramedics for medical help after the Agency for Health Care Administration closed the 25-bed hospital for a series of violations.
Friday, county commissioners and state officials held a press conference announcing a detailed plan to reopen the hospital, which included not paying the state more than $1 million in fines accrued by the former management company Ashford.
Alan Levine, Secretary for Health Care Administration, says, “In lieu of paying back to the state of Florida, what the state and county has agreed to is those dollars will go into improvement the facility. That means your dollars will be used to reinforce and improve the hospital as paying back debt to the state."
In addition to paying the state the county has agreed to pay $300,000 of Ashford's debt in bankruptcy court and $342,000 to get the license to operate.
County Commissioner Ed Dixon adds, "It will take months before we can make the physical changes to the building that ACHA will need to see before signing off on the license.”
In the meantime the county is going forward with opening an urgent care facility in the emergency wing of the hospital. County officials say the necessary procedures have to be in place before they finally reopen the hospital.