CARROLLTON, Ala. (WIAT) — Many in Pickens County are disappointed that lawmakers decided not to approve millions of dollars in funding that was reportedly allocated to be used to possibly reopen the Pickens County Medical Center.
Aliceville Mayor Terrence Windham said he is frustrated and upset because anyone needing urgent emergency medical care will have to travel 40 miles away to Tuscaloosa or Mississippi. Pickens County Medical Center, which was the only hospital in the area, was closed in 2020 due to financial hardships.
“As a Mayor and as a citizen of Aliceville I am furious with not our House of Representatives but specifically Senator Gerald Allen for voting this down because he has given us so many promises but failed to come through,” Windham said.
Last Friday, lawmakers decided not to provide $8 million to try and reopen the hospital, but even though things didn’t go the way many had hoped for, State Senator Gerald Allen said he still supports the effort to reopen the hospital and hopes to get funding down the road.
“Certainly, we are not going to through the towel in and we’ve just begun to fight to get the funding that Pickens county medical center needs and we had a good program set up to help that hospital, but we are not going to give up on the issue,” Allen said.
Pickens County Ambulance said five patients died last year while traveling to out-of-town hospitals.
“It is a huge disappointment and sadly, probably more lives will be lost because of that decision, but all we can do is what we can do,” ambulance service manager Vicky McCrory said.
McCrory said that despite not getting what they wanted from lawmakers, they will still be fighting to get the Medical center reopened sometime in the future.