Bay Medical Sacred Heart announces resuming of inpatient care

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - For the first time since Hurricane Michael tore through Bay County, Bay Medical Sacred Heart will reopen inpatient care.

For nearly three months, many in Bay County have had to drive hours to find a hospital with inpatient care. The reason? Hurricane Michael damaged local hospitals like Bay Medical Sacred Heart.

"When the hurricane happened, they had to shut down. It was a big impact on a lot of people," said Panama City resident Mike Abair. "A lot of them had to go to different states our towards Pensacola."

"If that's the only trauma center in Bay County what am I supposed to do if something falls in hits me in the head?" said Panama City resident Mark Black.

Bay Medical will resume inpatient care Wednesday. Hospital officials say they'll focus on heart care, surgical, and trauma care. And that makes some locals happy.

"We've needed this so much," said Panama City resident Jake Abair. "This coming back and opening up is gonna make a really big benefit for us jobs especially, there has been so many people who haven't had a place to work."

"With it being reopened I don't know what type of service level they got now, with all the beds," said Black.

Hospital officials said the first phase of reopening inpatient care will include 75 inpatient rooms and 15 intensive care beds. Bay Medical said the first phase also includes 60 medical-surgical beds and eight operating rooms.