What happens when a rural community loses a hospital? Jobs disappear. Hopes for economic development fade. Residents look for a new route to the nearest hospital. Georgia has seen three rural hospitals close this year: Charlton Memorial Hospital in Folkston; Stewart-Webster Hospital in Richland; and Calhoun Memorial in Arlington.
A hospital emergency room in central Georgia will soon close its doors. Flint River Hospital in Montezuma plans to close its emergency department on Sunday. Some Macon County residents fear that closing the emergency room will mean longer ambulance trips for injured and ill patients to Perry or Americus.