by: Diana Davis Updated:EAST POINT, Ga. —
As many as 80 metro Atlanta hospital employees may soon be out of job.
South Fulton Medical Center in East Point announced Tuesday it will be shutting down its labor and delivery services next month. Channel 2’s Diana Davis found out the number of deliveries at the hospital has been steadily declining.
Obstetrician Dr. Precious Braswell trained at the hospital and delivered more than 100 babies last year. She said she’s not surprised by the July 26 shutdown.
“We did fight for it to stay open, but I guess it didn’t work out for us,” Braswell told Davis.
Hospital officials and representatives from its owner, Tenet Health Care, declined to discuss the issue on camera. In a written statement, the hospital said the decision came down to money.
“The decision is based on continued reimbursement decreases for this program that make it difficult for smaller hospitals with lower volumes to operate this service,” South Fulton Medical Center said.
Atlanta Medical Center, which is also owned by Tenet, will continue to deliver babies. Expectant mothers will also be able to use Emory Midtown or Southern Regional hospitals.
Still, Braswell said the community needs a hospital.
“It’s a loss to the community, and I think we will see the difference once it is closed,” Braswell said. “A lot of the young ladies who live in the area may not have the transportation or the will to go downtown or go further south.”
The hospital said it will try to relocate some of the employees to other hospitals in the system or possibly find other jobs for them here. The details have not been worked out.