Franklin Medical Center closes; nearest hospital 21 miles away

LOUISBURG, N.C. (WNCN) – The Franklin Medical Center closed for good on Friday after Novant Health announced last week that they would be closing the hospital.

The reason Novant gave for closing the hospital is that there weren’t enough patients and the cost of operations was getting too high.

Novant said they were only averaging 18 patients per day and had 65 unused beds.

They began eliminating inpatient beds and reduced staff but they found people were still traveling to other counties for healthcare.

For those who did use the hospital, they said they’re concerned about the impact the closing will have on the community. The closest hospital is 21 miles away.

“I think it’s ridiculous because if there are no funds…that’s not a justifiable reason…yes it’s small…but we’re still human around here,” said area resident Roy Dickerson.

With Franklin Medical Center now closed, patients will have to travel to Raleigh to get medical care.

“I thought it was the end of the world…from that point on we started thinking like, ‘Where are we gonna go?’ They tell us we will have to go all the way to Raleigh…that’s a good distance if you are really sick,” said resident Patricia Crews.

“If you don’t have a car you can’t just jump into your car and go…again, you have to call an ambulance…and then you are putting pressure on public services…I think it’s going to be rough on a lot of people,” resident Susan Miller said.

Novant Health said that the building is no longer being used as a hospital but they are keeping it operational and hope to turn over the building to another company in the near future.

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