Since 2010, 82 rural hospitals have closed across the United States. The reasons are complex, however these closures are hitting southern states the hardest. In a rural small town, a critical care hospital sits shuttered. With millions in debt, the local government elected to close the hospital almost a decade ago. Locals asked the county to keep the hospital open, stating without it many residents would be forced to drive an hour to go to the hospital.
The hospital was one of the largest employers in the area but struggled due to a lack of patients. Some weeks the hospital only had one or two patients but the facility had over two dozen beds. Coupled a big drop in local funding, county officials had no choice but to close the facility and hope they could one day reopen.
Almost 100 employees lost their jobs as a result of the hospital closing. Since county officials hoped to one day reopen, none of the equipment was sold or removed. The hospital remains fully stocked as if they just shut the doors yesterday. There was even expired food left behind in the kitchen pantry. This place has a very similar story to another hospital I visited years ago known as Bad Debt.