Hospital Administrator: Not shocked by hospital closure

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - Center's hospital, the Shelby Regional Medical Center, has closed its doors because its contract for Medicare and Medicaid coverage was terminated Wednesday. The facility's emergency room will remain open until Thursday at noon.

It all stems from the lossof medicaid and medicare funding.

Several of the 89 staffmembers of the medical center were not surprise to hear the news.

"It's kind of a sadday that this hospital is shutting down after 45 years and that this communitydoesn't have a hospital," said Permenter.

The residents of Shelby Countyresidents are asking where do they go?

"We're ready toaccept their patients. We have the capacity and capability of excepting theirpatients and if they need a higher level of care, we have the ability to transportthem by ambulance or helicopter," said Memorial Medical Center of San Augustinespokesperson, Darlene Williams.

Patients aren't the onlyones asking what's next. Staff at the medical center have the same question.

"A lot of the staffsaid they can hold on for a month or two but eventually they are going to haveto have a job. That's why we were hoping something was going to happen like anew owner stepping in," said Permenter.

Permenter said the thoughtof not being here during a busy weekend scares her.

"The Watermelon Festivalstarts tomorrow and there is a little league tournament going on right now andGod forbid something happens to one of those little kids or parents or anyone.They are going to have to tote them somewhere else to get services and it's nothere," said Permenter.

Earlier today we spoke tothe Center's City Manager, Chad Nearing. Nearing said that they would hope thisdidn't happen because of the economic and safety impact the facility had on theregion.

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