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Opinion: Closed hospital, overpaid county supervisors

Why should we care about this story?

This past December in Williamston, N.C., shots rang out. Someone made the 911 call and first responders arrived within three minutes. A young man lay in the street. While one of the responders tried to stop the bleeding, the other attempted to get a medical helicopter to transport the 21-year-old gunshot victim. He was unsuccessful.

The closest option was an ambulance to a small, six-bed hospital. The ride took 34 minutes from the time of the 911 call, according to police logs. Amanda Seitz and Allen G. Breed, writing for the Associated Press (AP), reported that the victim was then “transferred from that hospital to a higher-level trauma center where he died a few days later.”

Here’s what drew my attention. The AP story, published on May 19, stated, “The scene of the shooting was just four minutes away from Martin General Hospital’s site.” However, like Madera’s hospital, Williamston’s only hospital had closed. Unlike the situation in Williamston, we’re told that our local hospital will reopen sometime this summer. If it does, our Teflon-coated, locally-elected officials and hospital administrators will all be on hand with big smiles, knowing that they’ll be forgiven for not preventing the shutdown 18 months ago.


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