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Performing coronary angioplasty and stenting at hospitals without on site open heart surgery makes sense in rural settings where patients do not have easy access to a cardiac center. Gwinnett Medical Center is 8 miles from Eastside Medical Center (ESMC) and has has recruited 2 superb cardiac surgeons who have been practicing in Atlanta for years. Why would anyone choose to have a cardiac procedure at a new low volume community hospital (ESMC) when there is a full service cardiac center down the road?
NONE of the cardiologists in Gwinnett County supported Eastside's application for an angioplasty program. There is no benefit to the community. Starting in May, patients who find themselves at Eastside's emergency room will no longer be able to see ANY of the cardiologists who have serviced Gwinnett County for decades. And if they need emergency heart surgery, they will be shipped to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.
So how did this come to pass? Well, when folks say "its not about the money"......
Louis I. Heller, MD, FACC
Director, Cardiac Catheterization Lab
Gwinnett Medical Center
Last login: Sunday, April 8, 2012