Thursday Vidant Health officials met with elected officials and leaders from Beaufort and Hyde counties to clarify the future of health care services provided in the Belhaven area.
The Vidant Pungo Hospital Board of Directors voted in September to move forward with plans to build a new 24/7 multi-specialty care clinic in Belhaven. The plans also include a phased closing of Vidant Pungo Hospital to take place over the next five to six months.
Once the current facility closes, patients will receive care 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week at Vidant Family Medicine-Belhaven located on Haslin Street. Services will also be available at the other physician practices located on Allen Street and Water Street.
Another option that augments EMS services in Beaufort and Hyde counties was also discussed. Vidant Health, through its foundation, has offered to provide one-time grants-in-aid to each of the counties to improve the access to care.
In Hyde County, the Vidant Health Foundation will provide up to $250,000 for the purchase of a new medical emergency transport vehicle to enhance emergency coverage across the county.
The Vidant Health Foundation will provide up to $500,000 to help Beaufort County provide paramedic level emergency services.
Vidant Health will continue to offer patients clot-busting drugs for heart attacks and stabilization for transport to higher levels of care for 18 months while Beaufort County increases level of EMS service from intermediate to paramedic. After 18 months, these services would be provided by county EMS personnel, not at the multispecialty clinic in Belhaven.
Hyde and Beaufort County officials have not mad any official comment on these latest plans.