Proposal to build a second hospital in Muskogee receives opposition

Tuesday, November 11th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Controversy over plans to build a new hospital in Muskogee has the town divided. Supporters say it will bring much needed competition to area health care.

Opponents say it would financially crush the city's public hospital - Muskogee Regional Medical Center. Supporters say right now there are 4 to 5 hour delays in the emergency room, limited bed space, and slow testing results. They say the competition of a new hospital would improve patient care overall.

But workers at the current facility say a new hospital would put them out of business, by refusing to cover the uninsured. Karen Wood, MRMC employee, "Once we stop getting customers in who can pay for their bills and all we have are the patients that are unable to pay then we'll start going downhill."

Proponent of a new hospital, Dr Tim Robinson, "the hospital has a monopoly if you called the insurance commissioner you would find it costs 15% more than anywhere else in the state to get health care in Muskogee."

Robinson says the group has no desire to put the current hospital out of business. It simply wants to raise standards and lower patient costs.