Vidant Pungo Hospital closing, community speaks out

Vidant Pungo Hospital closing, community speaks out

BELHAVEN - The news of Vidant Pungo Hospital's imminent closure came with some backlash from community members in Belhaven who still hold hope the town can acquire the hospital.

"Closing this hospital means everybody takes another 30 minutes to get emergency help," said Mayor O'Neal "30 minutes is a long time when you're dying."

Monday, Vidant Community Hospitals released a statement about the closure: CLICK HERE TO READ IT

The mayor's sentiments were echoed by other people in the area.

"This hospital is needed for the old people in particular," said Mable Satterthwaite. "It's a god send for both the young and the old."

Satterthwaite is 82 and has used the hospital for decades. Tuesday, it will no longer be available to her. However, a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week clinic has been opened by Vidant in the town.

"The clinic is a nice thing for people who don't have emergencies," Satterthwaite said. "What will happen if they don't have emergencies."

Ambulatory services will also be available in the town though townspeople worry about the extra time it will take to reach the hospital in Washington.

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