Dr. Paul Mace and three other surgeons are back at work hopeful that state lawmakers will solve what they call a public health crisis. Dr. Mace says four surgeons will carry the load of 12 at Memorial, Garden Park and Hancock Medical Centers, and he says some patients will still have to be taken to other hospitals.
"We still will only have neurosurgery coverage one night in three which means any head injury patients will still have to be transferred out two thirds of the time. We will still have limited coverage in other specialties," Mace said.
Until all the doctors go back to the O.R., Memorial Hospital will be the main trauma center. Dr. Mace says the hospital has the largest number of ICU beds and the equipment doctors need to treat critically ill patients.
"Because we only have a limited amount of surgeons it just makes sense for us to centralize the care in one location rather than have critically injured patients dispersed among three hospitals when potentially we could not get to those patients."
The director of American Medical Response says one trauma location makes it easier to transport patients.
"It provides a better solution to trauma care. Instead of us having to take trauma patients to Biloxi or Slidell or Hattiesburg hopefully those patients will be able to receive trauma care in Gulfport," Steve Delahousey said.
The care is available but doctors say it will still be on a limited basis until all the hospitals are once again fully staffed with surgeons.
Because some patients will still have to be taken to other hospitals, the Harrison County Supervisors renewed the emergency declaration that went into effect last Monday.