Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Decision on allowing new Sussex emergency departments delayed

A decision on whether or not to add emergency departments in Sussex County will wait until next month.

Bayhealth and Beebe Healthcare are each proposing to build a new freestanding emergency department in the heart of Sussex.

But a review committee for Delaware’s Health Resources Board recommended the state deny both applications last month. And this month’s board meeting to vote on the matter was postponed until August, because the board could not assemble enough of its members.

Delaware Healthcare Association President and CEO Wayne Smith says the 15-member board has had difficulty reaching quorum in the past.

“In a small state like Delaware, if you are trying to recruit a cadre of folks who know healthcare economics and understand the healthcare delivery system, finding those folks to serve is a challenge, number one, and number two, finding committees or folks who can serve who don’t have conflicts is a secondary challenge,” said Smith.

Smith adds the delays are affecting both of the health systems’ financial planning and the patients’ access to health resources.

“New resources generally improve access to patient care, bring new modern technologies closer to where people live, which is always to the benefit to the neighbors and friends we serve see as Delaware patients in our facilities,” he said. “But secondly, certainly, some of these projects have a great deal of financing behind them. The costs can mount up when delays are met.”

Smith notes legislation is proposed for next year to reduce the size of the board. Its next meeting has been rescheduled for August 15th.

Related Content