By Sherea Harris
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Brookwood Medical Center gets the green light to build the state's first free-standing emergency room. Alabama's Certificate of Need Board approved Brookwood's request to build the emergency room on Highway 280 near One-Nineteen.
It's taken 6 years for Brookwood to get this approval
The ER will operate 24 hours a day. Patients can get treated for emergencies, and if necessary, be transferred to a hospital.
Brookwood's CEO, Garry Gause, says the congestion on Highway 280 makes quick access to emergency care a growing challenge when seconds count.
He says the ER will be beneficial to patients in northern Shelby County and southern Jefferson County.
"If something happens like a heart attack, stroke, chest pains anything they feel need to be taken care of in an emergency room its difficult for them to get access now," added Gause.
"I live out in the woods, said Jeffrey Wright. "If I get hurt I need somewhere close to go get fixed up. I've had problems with both knees and we've had to drive all the way out to hospital in Birmingham."
Construction will begin soon, unless another Birmingham hospital appeals the decision.
Trinity Medical Center is one hospital that showed opposition to the project. In a statement, a spokesperson for Trinity says in part that the State Health Coordinating Council has appointed a task force to study this issue and to determine whether freestanding emergency departments are appropriate from a health planning and public policy standpoint.
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