St. James Doctor Warns That Most Won’t Be Able To Have Surgery In New Facility

December 8, 2014

HORNELL, NY – If the hospital administration’s plans for future health care in Hornell goes through, the hospital on Canisteo Street will close. There will be a new facility in North Hornell, but it won’t be a full service hospital.  The new plan calls for an emergency room, a stand-alone surgical center with two suites.

Dr, Ismail Mehr agrees that the new plan will allow for certain surgical procedures to be potentially performed locally.  However, Mehr has concerns that doctors would only be able to operate on the healthiest of patients, because during surgery, patients would be 20 miles away from the nearest hospital which would be in Livingston County.  According to Mehr, if complications arise during surgery, that distance of 20 miles is too far.  While he agrees that a surgical center could function in Hornell, Dr. Mehr says this means that most patients would not be able to be safely operated on in a stand-alone surgery center.   That’s because any additional medical problems that a possible candidate for surgery might suffer from, could discourage surgeons from wanting to operate on that patient, if there was no hospital nearby.

The anesthesiologist maintains that the new model of surgical care is done in bigger cities like Rochester, where the surgical centers are near a major hospital.  “Being 20 miles away from the nearest hospital (Dansville would be the closest hospital, if St. James in Hornell is closed) is quite different than a surgery center in a city such as Rochester, which is within five miles of any of the three local hospitals in the City of Rochester,” Mehr told WLEA News.

Dr Mehr will appear on Monday morning’s Newsmaker Show, after the 8:30 news on AM 1480 WLEA, to talk more about this in detail.