As the future of Hutcheson Medical Center remains unclear, Catoosa County residents are demanding answers from Catoosa County's leadership. An offer to buy the troubled hospital is in the works, but North Georgia residents who are hoping to see the hospital's facilities stay open say Catoosa County is taking too much time, and risking a total shut down.
A group of protesters urged Catoosa County commissioners to keep the facility open for patients.
They came to ask questions about the future of the main hospital and the nursing home. Channel 3 spoke with the county attorney who said they are trying their hardest to keep a hospital in the county.
A public meeting quickly turned into a question and answer session about the future of Hutcheson Medical Center and a nursing home owned by the troubled hospital Wednesday afternoon at the Catoosa County Commissioner's Office. Employees, school teachers, and lifelong county residents gathered seeking answers for the only area hospital. While they were asking questions-- the county attorney was working on getting answers. “There is a proposal for the purchase of the nursing home, and that proposal for 7.2 million dollars and it seems to be a firm proposal,” said County Attorney Skip Patty.
Patty said there is also good news involving the future of the main hospital. A California company, Prime, known for fixing distressed hospitals has an interest in the medical center. “The attractive part of that offer is that they want to come in with their own money and keep it open.”
The one issue holding back finalizing the purchase Patty said is a dispute between services. “There is a dispute against Regions Bank and Prime. Regions has a security issue on the Battlefield Parkway property and we hope Prime's offer will be submitted to the court and something is resolved.”
As the clock ticks a complete shutdown looms. Patty said the county is trying their hardest. “We do want a hospital. We have a need for a hospital. Maybe not as big as a hospital we had, Catoosa can get by with a smaller hospital because of the proximity to the wonderful health care in Chattanooga, but we do need something here to stabilize patients till they can be transported.”
A hearing is scheduled Thursday at 4pm in Atlanta to address the recent offer with the California based company. The hospital is set to close their doors Friday-- December 4th.