PANAMA CITY, Fla. - A three year effort to provide better emergency health care for Bay County Residents is officially underway. Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center broke ground today on the new expansion of their Emergency Room facility.
Patients who've used Gulf Coast's ER, may remember being treated on beds in the hallway because the private rooms were all full. This expansion will include an additional 44 private rooms, as well as, new technology.Time is of the essence when your sick and visiting the emergency room but your wait at Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center will soon be more bearable.
Hospital officials, community leaders and the Bay County Chamber of Commerce broke ground Monday morning on an ER expansion project.
"Not only are we expanding our capacity but we are also going to be completely renovating the entire emergency room. For us, this is a $13.3 Million project and it's been several years in the making,
doctors treated about 72,000 patients in Gulf Coast's emergency room last year," said Holly Jackson, Chief Operating Officer.
They hope to serve even more people with better service once the expansion is complete. Constructions crews have already demolished the hospital's old emergency department and are rebuilding on the same site. Right now, doctors are handling emergencies in a temporary ER facility.
"It's going to be very busy around campus with all of the construction going on but we've added some additional signage. Obviously, the emergency room remains in operation through the entire project," said Jackson. "Not only do we provide services here for residents in Panama City, but obviously for Bay County and even for our surrounding communities."
Officials say the expansion is coming at just the right time. Administrators said it should take crews between a year and a half and two years to complete the new facility.
"We are very excited that this has finally started," said Jackson.
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