The only emergency room in Fulton County south of I-20 set to close

EAST POINT, Ga. — In just a few days, the only emergency room hospital south of Interstate 20 in Fulton County will close.

Channel 2 Action News has already reported the plans for Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center South to transition from an ER hospital to a 24/7 urgent care facility.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington has learned that community leaders will meet with hospital officials later this month, but the emergency room is still set to close this week.

Washington spoke with Wellstar AMC South patient Charles Brice as he walked out of the medical center Monday.

“I was over there getting some blood work,” Brice said. “When I had COVID, I was about to leave the world and they had some good doctors in there.”

Brice said the scheduled closure of the hospital’s emergency room in East Point this week is unfortunate.

“I think it’s going to be a sad thing for the area,” Brice said.

In a statement, the Wellstar Health System CEO cited low patient admissions as a partial reason for the closure.

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“Data shows that on average there are 140 emergency department visits a day at AMC South, with only seven resulting in inpatient hospital care (5%). For this reason, Wellstar is transitioning AMC South to a care model that provides the primary care, chronic care, medication care and rehabilitative care that our community needs and is using.”

According to Wellstar, when the AMC South ER closes, patients in need of the emergency room will be rushed to Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center in Atlanta. That is nearly 10 miles away.

“Minutes could be the difference between life and death,” city of South Fulton Mayor Khalid Kamau told Washington.

Kamau said he and the mayor of East Point have a joint meeting set up with Wellstar officials later this month.

“Making sure that South Fulton residents have access to urgent care even if it’s not in the form of a traditional emergency room,” Kamau said.

He said though he can’t stop the ER closure, he and East Point’s mayor will try to figure out a Plan B with Wellstar.

“I think it’s going to be the beginning of a series of conversations that we’re going to have,” Kamau said.

There have been efforts and talks to slow down the closure, but at last check, the ER is set to close May 6.

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