Marian Community Hospital in Carbondale is just days away from closing its doors for good.
A group of local doctors announced plans to open an urgent care center in Carbondale after the hospital closes.
The company that owns Marian Community Hospital announced in November that it was closing the hospital and all of its clinics and doctor's offices. Since then, people in Carbondale feared there would be a complete void of emergency care in that area.
News that there will now be an urgent care center comes as a relief.
Dr. Gary Latimer has had a number of interested tenants ask him to lease the space next to his chiropractic center in Carbondale. Doctors looking to set up shop in a city that will soon be without a hospital.
"As soon as that happened there was a lot of buzz about urgent care. It's needed, badly needed in this area, so I didn't think it would be too long until one was put in," said Dr. Gary Latimer of Carbondale Chiropractic Center.
A group of local doctors is fixing up the place. It will soon become the Pioneer City Urgent Care Center. It is set to open in May and will be staffed seven days a week for patients with emergency injuries or illnesses.
Another health care system, Commonwealth Health, is planning to re-open an out-patient clinic with services like x-rays and medical tests. The two facilities will restore some services lost when Marian Community Hospital closes its doors at the end of the month.
The new urgent care center can't replace an emergency room. The doctors will not be able to accept patients who need an ambulance.
"You really need transportation, and what do you call them? Hospital buses and stuff to get you there," said Charles Ward of Carbondale.
Some people think transportation to the clinic will cause problems, especially for older patients, but others, who used to go to Marian Community Hospital, said urgent care at least fills the void.
"Every so often I have to go for blood work. It will be a help," said Linda Arthur of Union Dale.
"I feel a lot more comfortable. I am the accident prone one. I'm the one who needs emergency care, urgent care," said Barbara Daniels of Union Dale.
Marian Community Hospital's emergency room closes Friday. The Pioneer City Urgent Care Center is set to open in May. Until then, those in Carbondale needing emergency care will have to go to hospitals in Scranton or in Wayne County.