Physician's resignation drives Virginia hospital to close

Stuart, Va.-based Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick began diverting patients from its ER Wednesday before announcing later in the day that it will soon close within days, according to WDBJ7.

The ER shutdown is the first phase of the hospital's closure. All admitted acute care patients will be treated until they are ready for discharge or transfer, the hospital's clinic will continue to see scheduled patients and outpatient visits will continue as scheduled until September 15.

The hospital filed for bankruptcy in March 2016. Administrators were hoping to organize a sale of the hospital and seamlessly transition service, but were not able to reach a deal with a buyer. The resignation of one physician appears to be the deciding factor for the change in plans to close. In a statement, the hospital said it was exploring a sale when the physician recruited in 2016 to lead its clinic submitted his resignation on July 31, with his final day being September 30.

Patrick County's Emergency Services Coordinator told WDBJ 7 the county doesn't employ full-time EMS workers. They're volunteers, and the hospital closure is expected to greatly affect them and transport times, which may go from 30 minutes to two to three hours.

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