Brookings is, by all reports, the largest community in Oregon without a hospital.
It’s more than an issue of health; it’s also an issue of economics. It’s also more than an issue for the city of Brookings. The solution could prove important for all of Curry County.
Curry Health Network and the Brookings City Council are petitioning the state for that solution: Allow Curry Health Network to have “remote” hospital services in Brookings, under its license for Curry General Hospital.
For those who don’t know, Curry Health Network (aka Curry Health District) is a local government covering Gold Beach and Port Orford. However, the district operates the Curry Medical Center in Brookings, which generates a substantial portion of its revenue.
The clinic in Brookings has urgent care services, but not overnight care, an emergency room or other hospital services. It does, however, have the space and the connections to do so.
Having hospital services here, under the Curry General license, makes sense all the way around. It’s better health care, it’s a cost savings for health care, and it overcomes a major economic development issue in the Brookings area. For the health district, it provides more revenue and stability for health care in the rest of the county.
Should the Brookings area eventually join the health district? That’s a question for voters at a later time. For now, while the new Curry General Hospital is in the planning and licensing stage, it’s clearly logical to include hospital services here.