ATLANTA — The emergency department at Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center will now close weeks before the full hospital shuts down.
It will start diverting emergency patents even before that, the hospital announced Thursday.
Patients who received treatment at AMC told Channel 2′s Tom Jones that the hospital is a lifesaver and diverting patients from the ER is a precursor of what’s to come.
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“Atlanta is about to get a trial run of what is to come, honestly,” said Alison Page.
Page said she’s not happy to hear Atlanta Medical Center is set to divert all patients from its emergency room in just a few days.
AMC is asking its emergency medical services partners to go to other hospitals before coming to its ER.
Page said that may cause a longer wait getting immediate help.
“Had my dad had to wait like that, he wouldn’t be here,” Page told Jones.
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Her father is Mike Horne. He was shot in a midtown Atlanta shooting that left two others dead in August.
Page said she shudders to think what would have happened if he had been turned away from AMC, Grady Memorial was full and he had to be transported far away -- to somewhere like Macon.
“Dad would have never made it to Macon, even if they flew him there,” Page said.
AMC said it will still take ER patients until Oct. 14, when its ER department will permanently shut down in advance of the hospital closing Nov. 1.
But it prefers paramedics try other hospitals first.
Page said this is a very serious issue.
“I think it is a matter of life and death,” Page said.
The hospital said this is a part of the winding down of services as it prepares to close Nov. 1.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dicken’s office said it has been working tirelessly with health care providers to prepare for this abrupt closing. It called the closing shortsighted.
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