By Woodrow Polston
MEXICO—The Dec. 20 deadline to reinstate the temporary voluntary suspension of operating licenses at the Mexico and Fulton hospitals last week resulted in a denied extension. After the latest change of ownership, from Platinum Health to Clifford Sullivan, the Department of Health and Senior Services denied a second extension stating that there was not sufficient time to consider it while processing the change of ownership.
As reported by the Vandalia Leader in September, Platinum Team Management, a hospital and medical management company based in Wylie, Texas, announced an agreement last May to assume control of Audrain Community Hospital in Mexico, and Callaway Community Hospital in Fulton. Noble Health had announced that the facilities were closing on March 25 and the two hospitals suspended services and diverted all patients to nearby facilities. Since that time, however, questions have been raised concerning the possibility of the hospitals ever reopening.
For the hospitals to reopen they would be subject to passing inspections, which numerous sources have said would be difficult to do. County officials have stated that the best chance for a hospital to open in Mexico may require a new facility to be built, because of the current state of the building. In September, Audrain County Commissioner Leslie Meyer said that it would not pass despite there being no health risks in the building.
“If it does lapse, they will have to go in and inspect every aspect of the hospital and there is no way that the building would pass those inspections. Even though there are no health risks to be concerned about, as the asbestos has been encapsulated,” said Meyer.
Updates on the status of the hospitals will be reported as they become available to the Vandalia Leader.