LINDEN, TX (KSLA) - Good Shepherd Health System is closing their hospital in Linden, TX and two of their clinics in Cass County.
According to a statement released Monday afternoon, the health system has notified the Linden Municipal Hospital Authority of its intent to close Good Shepherd Medical Center - Linden, effective April 30, 2014.
"I think it is crazy for them to close. It is so close and convenient for the people who live so far out," says Linda Mathis. Mathis learned of the hospital's upcoming closure on her way into the emergency room.
The Good Shepherd Medical Associates Family Health Centers, formerly Glenn-Garrett Clinics, in Linden (402 North Kaufman) and Hughes Springs (201 East 2nd Street) will also close at that time.
Hospital officials say cuts in Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement and low patient usage are among the factors leading to the decision to close.
Hospital administrators are also pointing to a low patient turn out as another issue over recent years. They say on average the ER at Good Shepard Linden sees only 1 patient an hour.
Many residents who live near the hospital are now worried about where they will go in case of an emergency. The closest ER is in Atlanta, roughly 18 miles away.
"My daughter had an asthma attack, and if Linden wouldn't have been here she would have died," says Desiree Perry.
They say the hospital and clinic closures will result in the loss of approximately 100 jobs, but some employees will be able to transfer to other campuses in Long View and Marhsall.