|Published:||Jul 13, 2012 1:23 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 13, 2012 1:23 AM EDT|
MARCO ISLAND, Fla - Marco Island City leaders and representatives from Physicians Regional Medical Center are expected to speak at a press conference Friday morning at 10:00.
Just hours ahead of the major public announcement, WINK News is learning Marco Island and Physicians Regional are working to make health care services on the island around the clock, but at a cost of $750,000.
City leaders are expected to announce details in an August referendum that will leave the decision to go 24 hours up to the tax payers.
Currently, Physicians Regional Hospital on Collier Boulevard in Naples is the closest 24 hour health care facility, 13 miles away from Marco Island. That need for 24 hour care will be at the center of a press conference scheduled for Friday morning.
For more than 20 years, Naples Community Hospital has been the only option for residents on Marco Island. At one point NCH served the Marco community 24 hours a day, but in recent years they've eliminated those overnight hours.
Marco Island resident Keith Dameron says, "having the ability at midnight to go to a facility and have someone there who can make that medical judgement for you is very important."
Physicians Regional is now hoping to fill that void. They've announced plans to build a walk in clinic serving Marco Island 24 hours a day, but they estimate the cost of staying open overnight is $750,000.
Dameron says, "the controversy seems to be we as citizens need to chip in and offset the cost for that." Residents will get the opportunity to vote on whether or not they want to pay for that extended care on a referendum August 14th.
Larry Sacher, Marco Island resident and city council candidate says he opposes the referendum. Sacher says it's somewhat misleading in that the 24 hour clinic wouldn't serve residents in an emergency. "I do not believe a 24 hour walk in clinic is the solution. In the go around of budget talks the fire chief proposed a second ambulance which I believe is probably a better solution."
NCH has not revealed if they are interested in extended overnight hours. Many of those unanswered questions are expected to be addressed at the press conference Friday morning. WINK News will be there and bring you the very latest on what city leaders announce.
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