Community forum focuses on Cooper Green concerns - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Community forum focuses on Cooper Green concerns

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People continue to raise concerns over the changes at Cooper Green.

Some say the new Cooper Green Indigent Health Care system isn't working.

Ronnie Williams, Public Health Network President says "The elected officials are saying everything is okay and we're going to make it better. The doctors, 2,200 of them are saying what you have is a failure."

Cooper Green patient, Maralyn Mosley says, "If you have to wait until April to September for an appointment, it doesn't make a difference."

During a community forum, the former CEO of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital and a former doctor there expressed concerns. Gregory Ayers, President of the Jefferson County Medical Society, says there's a break down in access to care and a lack of primary care doctors. But he says solutions are out there.

"We have ideas to re-direct funds to the state health department where maybe the state health department can contract with a third party player to create a new system for patients."

Despite concerns, Jefferson County Manager, Tony Petelos says the system is working and thousands of patients are being seen each month. "We have doctors in place. We lost some doctors, but we're recruiting new doctors. We hope at the next commission meeting to have more doctors come on board."

Petelos says the county is working on improving the system, but he would like to hear from Ayers about his ideas.

More forums will be going on to get information out to the community. People were encouraged tonight to start writing letters and making calls to lawmakers.

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