Financial hardship forced shutdown of sole Cuthbert hospital during height of the pandemic
Sen. Ossoff has long-championed efforts to support rural hospitals
WATCH: Sen. Ossoff highlighted story of Cuthbert woman at Senate press conference this morning
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is fighting to help reopen the Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center in Cuthbert, a rural hospital forced to close its doors in the middle of the pandemic due to financial strain.
Georgia has lost nine rural hospitals in the last 11 years, thanks in large part to the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid.
In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Sen. Ossoff called on both Secretaries to make their agencies’ “complete support” available to help reopen the hospital and to work personally with him, Cuthbert Mayor Steve Whatley, and community leaders to get it done.
“Health care is a basic human right, and to make that a reality for all Georgians they must have reasonable access to care,” Sen. Ossoff wrote. “I urge you to make every Federal resource swiftly available to reopen this hospital facility, including Federal funding to address the hospital’s infrastructure needs. I would ask that you work personally with me, my staff, Mayor Whatley, and the Cuthbert and surrounding communities to see it through.”
With the closure of Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center, before Sen. Ossoff was sworn into office, patients in Cuthbert now must drive over an hour away to receive life-saving medical care.
In December 2020, Sen. Ossoff visited Cuthbert and pledged during his campaign to work to reopen the hospital.
Sen. Ossoff spoke about the closure of Cuthbert’s hospital at a Senate press conference today, telling the story of a woman whose brother had to be rushed to a hospital in Columbus — over an hour away — just to receive emergency medical treatment. She then had to take him there three days a week to continue his care.
In February, Sen. Ossoff secured a commitment from a Biden Administration budget nominee to fund and support rural hospitals in Georgia, and in a Banking Committee Hearing in April, Sen. Ossoff again raised concerns about rural hospital closures and Georgia’s failure to expand Medicaid.
Sen. Ossoff has long-championed access to rural health care and continues to lead on efforts to expand Medicaid and health care access for all Georgians.
Click here to read his letter.
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