HERINGTON, Kan. (KSNW) – Another rural Kansas hospital is closing its doors. This as nearly 60% of small-town healthcare facilities in the state are at risk of shutting down.
The Herington Hospital Board of Directors says the decision to close the hospital stems from money problems and a lack of patients.
The 104-year-old facility has served Herington and surrounding communities for decades. Its closure is leaving a lot of questions for the community.
“There was really no warning,” said Tresea Middleton, Herington resident.
Middleton has been a patient at Herington Hospital for years.
Since learning of its closure Friday, she’s been working on finding a new physician.
“I’ve started going to Salina, and granted, I do work in Salina, but that’s like 45 minutes away,” said Middleton.
She says that this creates a gap in care.
“You know, an emergency arises, that’s like a lot of time wasted to go to another hospital. What happens if they can’t make it to another hospital?” asked Middleton.
It is a main concern for community members in need of immediate help.
“A lot of the older folks around here don’t travel around a lot or aren’t able to,” said Middleton.
“Twenty minutes or 26 miles or 30 miles, that’s a long time for an elderly patient that’s not doing well,” said Diedra Bruce, Herington resident.
Bruce is also concerned that the hospital’s closure will force people to travel farther for routine check-ups and emergencies.
“They have doctored people for many years, and now all of a sudden, they will have to go elsewhere to Marion, Kansas, or Council Grove, Kansas, or Junction City,” she said.
Middleton says lost jobs will also affect the economy.
“My thing is if the hospital goes under like it’s going to, what’s next,” she said.
The hospital says people can still request their medical records or have them sent to another office.