Parkway Hospital No Longer Housing Patients

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - In Decatur, an important development regarding your medical care. Decatur Morgan Parkway, which used to be known as Parkway Medical Center Hospital, is no longer admitting patients. All in-patient services have been transferred across town to what used to be known as Decatur General.

Keeping track of the names can be confusing, so to put it simply, Parkway Hospital is no longer an in-patient facility. Huntsville Hospital, which owns both facilities, has consolidated all in-patient care to Decatur Morgan.

Leigh Hays, a Decatur Morgan Hospital spokesperson explains, "Part of our long term plan has been to reduce as many duplicative services as we can. So the goal has been to bring the in-patients to the Decatur General campus."

That goal has now been accomplished. All of the patient rooms at Parkway Hospital are empty. The nurses stations are unmanned. Parkway still maintains a fully staffed emergency room, radiology department and labs, plus a few other clinics. But it is no longer functioning as a traditional acute care hospital.

"It wasn't cost effective and one of the issues that we had when we operated separately is that this community wasn't quite big enough for two hospitals," Hays told WHNT News 19. She tells us they don't plan to close Parkway's emergency room, however E-R patients who require hospitalization will have to be transferred across town.

For now, Hays says they're studying their options to see how the facility could best be utilized. "We study, make some additional decisions about whats best to go into that facility and whats in the best interest of the community and begin to move those services over."

It's really all abouty the numbers. Hays tells us the in-patient population at Parkway had dwindled to an average of just 17 patients. She also tells us many of Parkway's employees have transferred over to Decatur Morgan to accomodate the growing need at that facility.


  • concerned doctor

    Huntsville Hospital killed Parkway by actively shifting patients to Decatur General and elsewhere long before the census dropped to 17 patients! You are only getting the story that Huntsville Hospital wants you to know. In truth, Huntsville Hospital would just as soon have an Emergency Room in every county with an ambulance parked beside it. If a patient needs inpatient care, they would be shipped to the “factory” in Huntsville, refurbished, and shipped back home. This is not about patient care but about making widgets in a factory in the cheapest manner possible. They have killed off the competition and crushed the local health care system. Get used to not knowing your doctor’s name. Get used to traveling for anything except basic care. Get used to Huntsville Hospital calling the shots and spinning all the lies!

    Huntsville administrators are in control of the numbers and how they are reported, as well as how the numbers came to exist in the first place. They will of course show you numbers to make it appear the hospital had to close due to low patient volume. But if you look deeper, you will see that Huntsville Hospital moved labor and delivery, pediatrics, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, and gastroenterology out of Parkway months before the patient volumes dropped. What was left? They are even telling the ambulance services to drive certain injuries directly to their facilities in Huntsville without even stopping at Dcecatur General! What do you think will happen to your local physicians when the patients are being sent out of town?

    • RN

      Thank goodness! At least the patients are getting GOOD care instead of the sub-par care they received at Parkway. Of course certain things are diverted to Huntsville! They have the equipment and staff to care properly for more than Parkway ever did. I have worked at both facilities and hands-down, Huntsville provided better services and much better care than Parkway.

      • Craig

        Never had a bad experience at Parkway. As a matter of fact, if it was night or the weekend and we needed to go to the ER and could not wait for a doctor’s appointment, we preferred Parkway.

      • Firefighter/Medic/RN

        I’m sorry you feel that way. I’ve never seen sub-par care given at Parkway….especially in the ER and I’m pretty sure that I’ve worked there a lot longer than you had. It sounds like you may be a disgruntled employee that may have been asked to leave because of your sub-par patient care. And you can see by the many other comments that I’m not alone. Parkway was a wonderful faciltiy and had some Excellent Doctors and RN’s there. Their main priority was to give excellent patient care at a higher level and always striving to be the best in customer satisfaction.

    • Firefighter/Medic/RN

      Yes, that is exactly true. It is a blow to southwest part of town and regretably a sad day. It was where all of my family went and it was a newer facility and now it’s just sitting empty.

  • john

    sad situation-huntsville hospital has taken over the medical care in morgan county with a monopoly on health care facilities.

  • Wake Up

    It does not matter. Decatur is on life support and will flat line after the Sweetwater development is completed.

    • john

      the local officials can invest millions and millions of dollars on a project that has all kinds of risks and dont considers us folks who need health caRE.

    • Craig

      Yeah, hundreds of jobs and more revenue, that will kill Decatur. Some of you just seem determined to not let Decatur grow. That is why it was called a Mayberry town a few years ago by a reputable publication.

  • Christy

    The population of Decatur will go down now…Why, you ask? Because if everyone has to go to Decatur General now, you will die in the emergencey room waiting to be seen. Thanks, Huntsville Hospital for killing off our wonderful city!!!

  • Cathy

    Last week my Dad was in the ER for 12 hours before they could “move people around” to get him in a room. They were full and it is not even considered a busy time for hospitals. This is a disaster!

  • Mina

    @concerned doctor: Of course they are telling the ambulance services to take certain injuries directly to HH; HH is a Level 1 (without the burn unit) trauma center, with the next best hospital being Vanderbilt. Parkway Medical and Decatur General are just not equipped to handle the higher acuity level traumas.
    Now, with that said, HH is much like Huntsville Utilites in that they both are doing whatever they can to become the monopoly in their respective fields. They both are gobbling up whatever competition they come across just to spit out another clone of themselves and drive prices/costs higher. But that is another soapbox…

    • Wake Up

      No surprise. That is how capitalism works. Hospitals are a business just like any other business. The goal is to beat your competition to better your own position. Why is everyone so surprised when capitalism does what capitalism does?

      • beenthere

        But medical capitalism is what we WANT in America! It’s the American way; it’s what all good Christians believe in. Only a godless socialist would insist otherwise. Our bodies belong to the highest bidder, and our health and wellness are worth as much of our assets as Big Med can seize. And if you don’t have much, can’t afford to pay, or can’t get insurance, well, you have no business getting sick or having accidents and burdening the system with your care. The system will do just enough to keep from getting sued and get you back out on the street, so hopefully you can get back to work and generate some money, or at least go put out some milk cartons in all the convenience stores. That’s what we believe in here in Amurrica. That’s how God meant for us to care for the sick.

  • angela

    If these hospitals would take the time to really and I mean really take care of there patients there would be not problems they would keep coming back. It is sad they we are losing a fighting battle with the hospitals I live in sw Decatur and prefer Parkway because u wait forever at Decatur General I guess now more people will die because they wont want to go to the hospital…..

  • wendy

    l am glad to hear it going. They almost killed my mom and she went in for amonia but the doc messed up her meds thin they let a mentaly challenge young girl help the nurse get her to bed whitch she could do on her own she just needed help with the oxegen and IV but the girl tossed her out of the chair and the nurse was unable to catch mom and she landed on her knees. The doc wrote it up as a problem in rehab only she wasnt in rehab

  • A. Glassco

    At least Decatur HAS a hospital!! Unlike Hartselle—we have nothing!!! No ER no hospital–nothing!

  • Jon

    Well, Now maybe they could do some renovations to the Parkway campus and relocate DGW over to that location so that it can stay open and operational.

  • Jamey

    Rumored that Decatur general west about to move there. They say state is forcing the move from current building but sounds to me like a convenient way to consolidate mass assets that Huntsville hospital has consumed! Whnt should inquire about that!
    Also, be prepared to wait in line at any ER thanks to a president that has set up a nation to be destroyed by their own healthcare!
    I am ashamed to be in the medical field after 20 years to see the direction we are going. All I can do is promise to still care for my patients even if Americas government does not.

  • kayla

    This is crazy!!!! Folks will have to sit for hours and hours at Decatur general my 3 year old daughter got attacked by a dog and it took them 7 hours just to look at her then another 7-9 hours to give her stitches!!!! Thanks Huntsville for screwing what we had going just fine up.. The town is too small for just one hospital and all the people from here plus Hartselle, but you know we can afford a 500,000,000 dollar project for a toll bridge but can’t afford two hospitals. This is messed up

  • DoWhatWeCan

    It’s really bad whatever the reasons for the closures, Doctors leaving their practices and the state of our healthcare system and insurance.

    Even MORE reason for people to be their own health care advocates and pay attention to their health! We’re a society that has grown too dependent on medications to be our fix all. With our food sources being genetically modified, over medicated, artifical ingredients and all grown to be bigger with little concern for nutritional value (like our tasteless tomatoes) and preservatives so they’ll last longer.

    Then there’s big pharma pumping out pills and FDA approving ones that are so full of side affects that they end up with lawyers trying to file suit. Does it not make you sick hearing a TV ad for a medication when the list of side affects almost sound worse than what the medication is going to help?

    We’ve got to take more control of our lives. If people were more aware and diligent about what they’re eating and drinking and inhaling, we would be a lot healthier and may not end up needing the hospitals so much! I have 6 H.S. classmates that have MS, Lupus or severe chemical sensitivity and the number is growing adding later grads! These are not contagious diseases….something is very wrong with this picture!

    We may not be able to control everything big business, FDA, pharma or the Government does, but we can control what we do to help ourselves. We’re already getting burned by what has been done with our SS we were counting on in our “golden years” and have had to make modifications with our finances to survive. We need to do the same with our health as best as we can!

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

  • concerned doctor

    I realize Huntsville is a Level 1 trauma center, but that is not all that is being sent to Huntsville. Routine injuries that were once taken care of locally are now sent to Huntsville as well. Think pediatrics, orthopedics, labor and delivery. Births at Parkway were 35-45/ month and now Decatur General barely delivers that number. Where are the others? Madison Hospital!
    I believe the intent is for Decatur General to be kept alive on life support ONLY with no improvements and all of the “paying” patients will be encouraged to go to the Huntsville facilities. This will destroy the medical community here (doctor’s and nurses gotta live too!) and in the end will accomplish what Huntsville wants in the first place… all patients will be transported to their main campus and we can have 24 hour a day surgery. Think of a factory adding a third shift… very efficient.. Not very convenient mind you… but very efficient. You will have your surgery and/or procedure at a time and place the hospital administrators decide. NOT necessarily when it is convenient for you or your doctor.
    There is already a difference in pay between what Huntsville pays staff in Decatur and Huntsville for the same job. Huntsville Hospital is already taking advantage of the staff by cutting benefits every chance they get. They have financed their acquisition of other hospitals with the savings in pay and benefits. Only a nursing union will stop their growth.

    Over the next five years it will be more and more difficult to see a physician here in Decatur (and elsewhere) forcing patients to travel further and further for care and wait longer to get it. That’s government healthcare in practice. If you voted for Obama, you got what you deserve. I didn’t and I want better.

    The new healthcare model has stripped doctors of any say in patient care and turned it over to administrators. Hospitals are only interested in the bottom line (money!). So, now the physicians are silenced, overworked, over-regulated, and quitting in droves…

  • Craig

    Folks need to stop blaming Huntsville Hospital. This is the way our healthcare system works now. Many, many experts predicted that only big health systems will be able to survive under Obamacare. Huntsville Hospital is only doing what they need to do in this new age of healthcare in this country.

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