Battle at SBMC continues

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Shelby Baptist is hitting the airways with a massive public relations campaign to keep its open-heart surgery program alive.

Brookwood Hospital and its parent company Tenet Healthcare have attempted to stop Shelby Baptist from performing open-heart surgery since the hospital first received a certificate of need to perform such procedures.

After a law judge awarded SBMC a certificate of need, Brookwood took court action to fight it.

When an Autauga County judge ruled in SBMC&8217;s favor, Brookwood appealed that ruling.

In the meantime new guidelines for certificates of need for open-heart procedures were adopted in Alabama that favor SBMC.

Brookwood is fighting those guidelines.

Now Shelby Baptist is continuing the fight to seek a new certificate of need while it pins its hopes on the state Supreme Court to consider its original certificate of need.

If SBMC is not allowed to perform open-heart surgery, many patients from Shelby County and beyond will have to travel additional unnecessary miles to Brookwood for what may well be life or death medical care.

And when as person needs emergency medical care following a heart attack, seconds count.

Anyone who has driven along U.S. Highway 31 or U.S. Highway 280 during peak traffic hours can instantly see the obstacle a patient would face in getting to Brookwood Hospital instead of Shelby Baptist.

Surely there are enough people who need heart surgery who would choose Brook wood to keep that hospital busy. And surely those who choose to go to SBMC deserve that choice