Another side comes for hospital talk

With some talk out there about current efforts to reopen a hospital in Pauls Valley one official said it's important to also present the facts.

What Mike Schuster of the Southern Plains Medical Group had in mind during a presentation to city officials Tuesday night was to set the record straight when it comes to what he says are some inaccurate claims floating around about the hospital.

One is about the license needed for Southern Plains to reopen a hospital in the same building housing what was known as Pauls Valley General Hospital for decades.

During this week's city council and hospital authority meeting Schuster was quick to admit there's been no application submitted for a new hospital license.

“That's right, but we don't have a requirement to submit a new application,” Schuster said.

He said there's no need for a new application because current efforts to reopen the hospital are based on a push to fully activate the same license held by the PV hospital when it closed in October 2018.

Schuster and other Southern Plains officials say that license is currently considered active but expired.

They also say if state health department officials conduct another inspection of the building and sign off on the repairs made to correct “deficiencies” then the license could be considered fully active and the hospital could reopen.

Schuster says another is a claim the hospital can't reopen until an investigative audit, currently called for in a citizens' petition drive going through Oct. 27, is completed by state auditors.

“It's just baffling to hear statements that opening the hospital depends on an audit. Those things have nothing to do with each other,” he said.

More on the efforts to reopen a hospital in Pauls Valley will be in the next edition of the Pauls Valley Democrat.

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