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AL hospital closing leaves residents bewildered



It was standing room only at the Roanoke (AL) City Hall as a crowd of former hospital employees searched for answers following the Randolph Medical Center's sudden closure. But the 50 or so people hadn't called ahead to get on the agenda. The Roanoke City Council anticipated a public outcry, however, and set aside time for public comment. Two weeks ago the Roanoke Health Care Authority announced it was looking to sell the city's hospital. The hospital was likely to close down if a buyer wasn't found within 30 days, a press release said. Last Thursday, the authority held a special called meeting, and revealed the hospital couldn't afford to continue operations that long. The authority voted to close the hospital that night. Patients were transferred to other hospitals the next day. Late Friday afternoon, physicians staffing the emergency room had walked out and the doors were locked behind them. The doctors were provided by an independent contractor that instructed them to leave due to the amount of money owed by the hospital for services.
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