Hospitals may need help with accommodating patients, Southeast Health chief medical officer says

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Chief Medical Officer Charles Harkness doubled down on comments Fridary about Southeast Health getting close to capacity.

As they work, more and more patients fill hospital rooms. However, medical facilities usually turn to the National Guard for an alternative site when dealing with an overflow of patients.

With COVID numbers spiking daily in Alabama, Harkness spoke to Dothan city commissioners Thursday morning about how they can start putting a plan together for the Wiregrass area.

“The key is being able to provide them the care they need in a safe environment that meets all the requirements for taking care of them,” Harkness said.

Harkness told commissioners that the hospital can only do so much and may eventually need help managing the growing amount of patients.

“I think it goes beyond the walls of the hospital,” Harkness said. “You know we have the ability to manage the things within our walls but once it gets beyond our walls we have very limited ability.”

He said the hospital is open to all options, should the hospital reach full capacity. There is currently no plan, as of now, for where patients will be moved to if this occurs.

“We’re reaching out to other leaders, our community, to start engaging and helping us figure out how to manage this,” he said.

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