Real need for ER on U.S. 280

We have written about the dire need for a Hoover hospital in these pages before, and we still stand by our assertion that a city the size of Hoover — with almost 75,000 residents, according to the latest U.S. Census tally — needed a hospital yesterday.

We’re glad to see administrative law judge James Wilson show common sense by recommending Brookwood Medical Center move forward with building a freestanding emergency room at the intersection of U.S. 280 and Alabama 119.

The emergency room, if constructed, will include 24-hour care, laboratory services, pharmacy and diagnostic services, along with a helipad to accept patients transported by air. In other words, Brookwood’s plan includes everything necessary to help surrounding communities, including Greystone, Hoover, North Shelby and Chelsea, get the emergency care their citizens need.

The next closest hospital is nearly 20 minutes away, and that’s with fairly light traffic. At rush hour, you’re looking at getting through a wall of cars, and the hospital could be as much as an hour away.

The facility is not a sure thing yet, however. The next step happens July 21, when the certificate of need board must decide if the hospital will be allowed to move forward.

We hope the certificate of need board will see there is a real need for a hospital and get these communities the medical services they deserve.