Gulf Pines Hospital

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

It's a battle between Gulf Pines Hospital owner Hubert Steeley and Alfred Bonati, leaving patients in the middle. Tuesday, the ER was quiet. At 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, the hospital had to close the emergency room because of the lack of doctors, but the
director of nursing, Sandy Watson, says this won't be indefinite.

"We lost one of our physicians and one of our physicians is out of an emergency leave. Hopefully, we'll be back soon, but I cannot tell you an exact time."

Bill Williams, a member of the Gulf County Health Care Committee, is advising county commissioners, saying they want to prevent any limit to healthcare access in the community.

Sandy Watson says they may be reorganizing everything, but the hospital is open for patients.

"We still have patients, we have outpatient labs, x-ray, physical therapy. All of the services that we offered before."

Bonati and his staff left with equipment and medicine last week within 36 hours of an announcement made to patients at Gulf Pines.

Both Bonati and Steeley blame the other for the disagreement resulting in Bonati's departure. A hospital administrator says most of the employees are still working at the hospital, although three people were let go because they held positions created by Bonati.

"The emergency room is the only area affected. At this point we see no further problems with the other areas."

The next step for the hospital will be decided in court, but for patients and staff at Gulf Pines. They just want to get back to normal.


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