Denial and Withdrawal of Proposed Freestanding Emergency Departments in Georgetown
GEORGETOWN, Del.- Plans for freestanding emergency departments in Sussex County are changing after this week's Delaware Health Resources Board meeting.
Bayhealth withdrew its current application for a freestanding emergency department on Route Nine east of Harbeson on Thursday. The same day, the Delaware Health Resources Board denied Beebe Healthcare’s application for a freestanding emergency department on Route 404 west of Route 113.
Earlier this summer, the board’s subcommittee recommended both proposals be denied, stating there are less costly alternatives available. The board also cited public comments which stated emergency services are already available within the proposed service areas.
Georgetown Mayor Bill West disagrees with the board’s decision. He hopes to see the departments built in the future.
“They are not looking at the growth of Sussex County,” West says of the board. “They are not looking at the age of Sussex County. When I look at it, we need things that can help this community and make this community feel better about itself.”
Both Beebe and Bayhealth issued statements after the respective decisions. Bayhealth stated it will move forward with modified plans.
“After careful consideration, we have decided to withdraw our current application with the Delaware Health Resources Board for a freestanding emergency department on Route 9 east of Harbeson,” Bayhealth Senior Vice President of Planning and Business Development John Van Gorp said in a statement. “We remain committed to providing care to this fast-growing area of Sussex County. Therefore, while we have withdrawn the application for the freestanding emergency department, we will be moving forward with plans to provide primary and specialty care as well as diagnostic imaging in an ambulatory care center at the site on Route 9. We will be sharing more details in the near future as we continue planning this project.”
Beebe expressed its disappointment over its application denial, and says it remains committed to serving the area. A spokesperson for Beebe noted that the Board and committee said Beebe was in in great fiscal shape despite the denial.
“Beebe Healthcare is disappointed that the Health Resources Board did not approve our plans for a freestanding emergency department in Georgetown. We believe our proposal would bring emergency services to an area in need in central Sussex County,” Beebe Vice President of facilities and Environment of Care Mark Loukides said in a statement. “Beebe Healthcare first invested in growing services such as primary care physician offices and walk-in care in Georgetown and the surrounding area. We made these investments to keep our neighbors, families, and visitors from costly emergency department visits for non-emergencies. We remain committed to creating greater access to care in Georgetown and all of Sussex County, and we are grateful for the level of support this proposal had from the area.”