With Gulf Pines Hospital shut down, people who live in Gulf County have few options when it comes to health care.
Bay Medical Center has a facility in St. Joe Beach and Gulf Coast Medical Center just opened a new care facility in Port St. Joe, but neither of them offer full medical coverage.
The state shutdown Gulf County's only hospital back in March, calling Gulf Pines a "danger to public health," so for the last nine months people who live in Gulf County and needed even the most basic medical necessity such as an x-ray were forced to drive to Panama City.
"Primary doctors are in need around here. There just aren't enough services for the population that's out here, especially with the growing population," said Bette Mottet of Gulf Coast Medical.
Mottet is the office manager for Gulf County's newest medical care clinic, Gulf Coast Medical Center Primary Care. The facility has a medical lab, exam rooms and Gulf County's only x-ray machine, but Port St. Joe city manager Lee Vincent says Gulf County needs more.
"I look at it as filling a void that we have that we're in the process of trying to get another hospital to come in," said Vincent.
And a new hospital in Gulf County is closer than ever before. The city of Wewahitchka, who had voiced concerns over the county's half cent sales tax to build a new hospital, now say they're on board, meaning groundbreaking could begin as soon as April.
Gulf Care Medical Center Primary Care in Port St. Joe is open to anyone seeking medical assistance.