ATLANTA — Grady Hospital will get a $130 million aid package to help it handle the expected influx of patients once Atlanta Medical Center closes on Nov. 1.
Governor Brian Kemp, along with Fulton County Commission Chair Robb Pitts and DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond and leaders from area hospitals, made the announcement Thursday morning at the state Capitol.
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“These are substantial things that the state has done to provide long term, permanent-type solutions to help Grady,” Kemp said.
Kemp said Grady will use the one-time cash infusion to build space for 200 additional beds.
Most of the money is coming from the federal COVID relief fund.
Kemp also announced that the state will let Grady use its mobile hospital to create an additional 24 beds while the expansion is underway. It’s expected to take a few months to complete. Other Metro Atlanta hospitals are expected to see higher patient loads because of AMC’s closure, but Grady is expected to get the brunt.
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“My goal as governor was to work with these local partners to fill the gap that’s being left behind my AMC,” Kemp said. “We believe we have a plan to do that.”
Kemp also said the new funding formula worked out over the summer will provide Grady with an additional $130 million at the end of September.
But critics said the money is a short-term measure and doesn’t address the long-term health care needs of Georgia which has already seen a number of hospitals close over the past few years.
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“Our healthcare system is at a breaking point,” said Kemp’s Democratic challenger for governor, Stacey Abrams. “Simply adding a few dollars, meaningful though they may be for Grady, cannot solve the long term implications of losing a major hospital that has served this community for 120 years.”
Abrams once again called on Kemp to expand Medicaid fully.
“We will see more patients flooding into Grady Hospital,” Abrams said during a virtual news conference Thursday morning. “We will see more lives jeopardized , because we will lose yet another Level One trauma center in the Metro Atlanta area.”
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