Closing ER could mean longer ambulance rides
BATON ROUGE - Paramedics said longer transport times are likely in the wake of the decision by Baton Rouge General to close its Mid City emergency room.
The hospital said Tuesday, a growing number of uninsured patients seeking treatment from the ER was bleeding the hospital dry. The hospital had said it was losing as much as $1 million a month. Uninsured patients were forced to find other medical providers when the state closed the charity hospital, Earl K Long.
The hospital will close the ER in Mid City in about sixty days. The closure means Baton Rouge EMS will transport patients to four emergency rooms instead of five. BRG Mid City had been one of the top locations for patients.
"It will create longer transport times, depending on where you call from," said EMS paramedic Jeremy Landry.
Landry said one of his highest call volume areas is in North Baton Rouge and BRG Mid City was closest to calls from that area. Now, the next closest hospital ER will be at Our Lady of the Lake.
"We'll continue doing what we're doing, it'll just take a little bit longer to get there," said Landry.
Acadian Ambulance said it expects transport times to change, too.
Both ambulance companies said the closure could add about ten minutes to the length of time it takes to get a patient to the ER.
Watch the attached video report about the situation.