WILKES-BARRE -- Geisinger announced Tuesday it is bringing back the emergency room to Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre.
An emergency room will soon be back at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre after eight years of moving its emergency room care to its center in Plains Township, about a 10-minute drive away.
"Well, you figure they have to go here. They have to go there, all over. They eliminated Nanticoke. Those poor people have to go here or there. It's close. It's the best thing for them," said Joseph Sapulak of Ashley.
"We've heard from our community, from our staff members, and from people all around who want an option that's closer to home and more convenient for them," said Dan Landesberg of Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre.
Over the past few years, officials say 25 percent of emergency room patients at the facility in Plains Township were driving from South Wilkes-Barre which played a big role in the decision to bring the emergency department back to Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre.
"I don't think somebody should have to travel across the area for emergency care," said Michael Bovaird of Wilkes-Barre.
"If it's a matter of driving five minutes for emergency care or 20 minutes for emergency care, that could make all the difference," Landesberg said.
The $5 million emergency department will take the place of the adult urgent care center, which will likely move to a location in Kingston.
Officials say the new department will add jobs and should be finished by January of 2018.
"Finally, something they are bringing back, because if you go anywhere else you have to go to General or Geisinger so now we have it down here and it's quicker response time for accidents and stuff," William Owens of Wilkes-Barre said.
The nearest emergency room is at Wilkes-Barre General. The hospital sent us a statement saying it places a concentrated effort on providing the Wilkes-Barre area with high-quality care.