When a medical emergency happens, getting access to health care is vital to save a life.
That's why the city of Keokuk and the Lee County Board of Supervisors decided to help bail out Keokuk Area Hospital. But is this just a temporary fix, or can the hospital bounce back?
The Lee County Board of Supervisors just signed off this week on a $100,000 check to the hospital to keep it from a financial collapse. Janice Conover, whose sister recently was a patient in the intensive care unit, says if the hospital wouldn't have been there, her sister might not be alive.
Conover came to Keokuk Area Hospital on Friday morning to visit her sister in the intensive care unit. Her sister lives in Alexandria, Missouri and had to be rushed here.
"It's a matter of life and death, really," Conover said. "If they had to go all the way to Fort Madison, some patients would not even make it there."
Conover says when it comes to a medical emergency, every second counts. And Lee County Board of Supervisors Chairman Rick Larkin agrees with Conover and says that's why the board agreed to give the hospital $100,000.
"I think it was important to keep healthcare in Keokuk and if this would help them do that, then I think it was incumbent on the board to do that," Larkin said.
The city of Keokuk also gave the hospital $100,000 and the facility received about $200,000 from federal funding.
Larkin says he's not sure if this will solve the issue, or is just a temporary fix.
"It's hard to say whether this was a Band-Aid or what because I'm not really involved in the Keokuk hospital or the finances, but I do know they are having financial troubles and they're trying to work through them."
For Conover, she hopes the funding will help keep the hospital in business, because she knows all too well how important the care was for her sister.
"If she had to go all the way to Fort Madison, she might not of made it," Conover said.
Keokuk Area Hospital Board Chairman Walt Stephens blames reduced Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements for the hospital's issues. He says getting this money from the city and county will allow them to immediately bring in more doctors and hopefully treat more patients.