Small Kentucky hospitals struggle to stay open

From the Courier Journal:

If not for a nearby rural hospital, Jimmy Price says he might well be dead.

Doctors at Nicholas County Hospital saved the 53-year-old’s life in 2009 when he had a heart attack while working as a mechanic at a school a half-mile away. After stabilizing him, they sent him on to the University of Kentucky, where he had a triple bypass.

“I don’t want to think what would have happened if that hospital wasn’t there,” said his wife, Dana Price.

Residents are now finding out. The county’s only hospital was shuttered in May. A sign near the empty emergency room says: “This facility is CLOSED. If you need immediate care call 911.” It also gives the locations of the closest emergency rooms — nearly 20 miles away on winding country roads.

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