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  • Border Counties Coalition requests emergency assistance for rural hospitals

    Sep 21, 2021 | Read More News
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    The Arizona Border Counties Coalition has asked the state to make it possible for rural hospitals and medical facilities to transfer critically ill patients to larger regional facilities, saying that rural care providers “are nearing collapse due to serious COVID-19 infections coupled with the need for ongoing hospital care.”

    In a letter sent Sept. 17, Supervisors from the state’s four border counties – Pima, Yuma, Santa Cruz and Cochise – told Dan Harrington, the acting director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, and Dr. Richard Carmona, the state’s senior advisor for vaccinations, that patient transfers to large, urban hospitals have been increasingly difficult.

    “Urgent, critical care transfers from the Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital have not been possible. The same exists for the Copper Queen Community Hospital in Bisbee,” the letter states. “The Douglas, Arizona, Clinic and the emergency room in Nogales, Arizona, Benson Hospital, and Northern Cochise Community Hospital in Willcox are overwhelmed. The hospitals and emergency treatment facilities in Yuma County are having the same issues.

    “As the Arizona Border Counties Coalition, we are requesting that the existing COVID-19 Surge Line be expanded to allow for non-COVID acute care patients. This resource should be provided immediately to ensure proper care to rural patients requiring lifesaving treatments.”

    The letter also requests financial assistance for rural hospitals and for more federal strike teams to be deployed to rural facilities that are dealing with staff shortages amid the pandemic. The County supervisors asked for further COVID-19 treatment and care assistance, including funding for monoclonal antibody treatments, which have been shown to reduce hospitalization rates and incidences of death in COVID patients.