ATLANTA — One week from Tuesday, Wellstar will be closing the Atlanta Medical Center for good.
The emergency room shutdown a couple of weeks ago and the hospital operations are beginning to wind down. The NAACP, along with other organizations and company leaders, are demanding a meeting to find short term solutions, as well as a long term strategy.
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Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach spoke with the NAACP about their push for more involvement.
“At this point we need to sit down with our other hospitals as well as elected officials and talk about a plan forward,” said Gerald Griggs, NAACP Georgia President.
They say the impending closure on Nov. 1, following the closing of AMC South earlier this year -- which is the only full service hospital in South Fulton -- shows the disparities in the minority community’s access to healthcare.
“It’s a long term effect from neglect. So we’re now we’re asking for a long term commitment to serve all the people of Georgia so we won’t continue to have these hospital closings, leaving people without access to healthcare,” said Richard Rose, NAACP Atlanta President.
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The NAACP is pushing for more affordable healthcare, more money for urban and rural hospitals across Georgia, and fully funding Medicaid.
While calling on action by elected leaders, including those now on ballot, they say it’s not about politics just before an election.
“This is a care and compassion issue. this is a funding issue. This is a people issue and we demand change, we demand full funding and we demand assistance now,” said Rose.
Gehlbach reached out Tuesday morning before the news conference for a statement from Wellstar but has yet to hear back.
Previously, the system cited financial strains and that the hospital couldn’t find a path forward after losing more than $100 million over the last year.
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