ER temporarily closed at Lauderdale Community Hospital due to doctor shortage

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A note on the window at Lauderdale Community Hospital on Wednesday explained the situation.

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RIPLEY, Tenn. —  Lauderdale Community Hospital's ER was temporarily closed Wednesday because the hospital did not have a doctor available, hospital CEO Michael Layfield said.

In a prepared on-camera statement, Layfield said the ER closed at 7a.m. and was on temporary diversion due to not having an ER doctor available. He said an ER doctor would be available at 7 p.m. Wednesday and the ER would reopen at that time.

Layfield says ambulance companies and EMS have been notified to transport patients to another facility.

He says they have attempted to get the message to the community that if a person shows up with a true emergency during this period, nurses will help stabilize the patient to the best of their ability and then call 911 for transport.

Layfield refused to say whether the doctor shortage was because of staff not being paid.

Hospital staff told WREG this morning that doctors had not been paid in two months.

In December, WREG reported that hospital staff were complaining they had not been paid in months, though they did receive a paycheck after the story aired.

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