Jackson Hospital officials speak out at City Council meeting

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 10:33 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - On Tuesday, Jackson Hospital officials flooded Marianna City Hall to discuss a new surgery center possibly making its way to Marianna from Tallahassee.

According to officials, Tallahassee Orthopedic Center (TOC) wants to bring a new surgery center to town. However, hospital officials believe this would cause Jackson Hospital to ultimately close down.

Those who attended the meeting in support of Jackson Hospital say they were prepared to share their opinions with commissioners, but the conversation was postponed until next month; but that didn’t stop hospital officials from speaking out.

”And (I hope) TOC will play ball with us in town and let us keep doing what we’re doing and I hope they’ll do a joint venture with Jackson Hospital, with Jackson Hospital maintaining majority ownership in an outpatient surgery center, so it will keep our hospital alive,” Dr. Richard Christopher said. “If we don’t., this hospital is going to die, and I bet it’ll die within five years.”

Christopher also added that losing Jackson Hospital could cause a massive loss of jobs in the county as well.

“The hospital is probably the most important industry in this county,” Christopher said. “It employees 650 people. So, it not only provides health to all these people in this county, it is a major employer. When that goes away, that’s 650 families that have to go out and find another job. That would be hard to do in this county, so you’re going to see out-migration just from that.”

City Commissioners, however, say they believe bringing a TOC surgery center to Marianna could have benefits.

“If TOC came in, it could very well keep prices down,” Marianna City Commissioner Kenneth Hamilton said. “TOC also is a very reputable medical facility and they have places in Tallahassee, and they would be a competitor against our local hospital.”

No decision was made at the Oct. 5 meeting, but city officials say they plan to talk with TOC and Jackson Hospital officials and discuss the matter again at the next meeting.

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