By Wyatt Goolsby
RANKIN - Residents in Rankin say their only Doctor was forced out of town. Now, they say there are even more problems brewing at the hospital.
Commissioners held their regular meeting Friday morning at the Rankin Hospital. Only two items were on the agenda, but lots of problems were brought up.
NewsWest 9 first told you earlier in August about some of the tension between hospital staff and nurses and Rankin's only doctor, Paul McLean. Because of all the problems, Dr. McLean told NewsWest 9 he had to leave town. However, Friday's meeting brought even more issues to the surface.
"This is between the board and the town and the citizens," Linda Dusek declared at Friday's meeting. "We don't need anymore nasty blogs put on the TV concerning Doctor Paul, because he has resigned. Now, we just have to start mending some relationships between [the hospital staff] and us."
The meeting didn't last more than ten minutes. In a short span of time, however, Dusek, an Upton County resident, managed to explain eight problems she said commissioners have to address.
"It's past time," Dusek said. "We should have stepped up a long time ago and brought some of these issues to the board."
Some of the biggest issues mentioned include questions on the quality of healthcare and several legal violations. In addition, excessive overtime for nurses. Some claim more than 36 hours. Plus, a suggestion to bring in an outside third party consultant to help clean up the problems.
"They told me that it's not unusual for hospitals in small towns to kind of get in this situation where there is lack of communication between the board, staff, and the Doctor," Dusek explained. "But they've been very successful at mediating the problem."
Dusek said she and other Upton County residents want commissioners to talk about these issues in their next meeting. Many Rankin residents said they know it's too late to keep Dr. Paul McLean in town, but many hope their concerns will be discussed.
"Its back in the board's hands," Dusek added.
NewsWest 9 also spoke with hospital commissioners Friday. They said they will review all the issues brought up at the meeting, but until they review and talk about them, they are not commenting. With regards to the town's only doctor leaving, they stated they regret seeing Dr. McLean leave, but they wish him the best in his next job.
Many of the concerned residents said they will bring up some of the same issues again at the next public meeting.