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Shands Live Oak hospital to transition to emergency room only in April

Shands Live Oak Regional Medical Center
Posted at 6:12 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 18:12:31-05

LIVE OAK, Fla. (WTXL) — People in Suwannee County are now being forced to find a new primary doctor because of a change in ownership at Shands Live Oak.

Shands Live Oak will become an emergency room only by the end of April due to the ownership change. Right now, there's an emergency room in addition to the in-patient and non-emergency care.

HCA Healthcare is buying the hospital.

In 8 weeks, it'll become an off-campus emergency department of Lake City Medical Center and North Florida Regional Medical Center. The hospitals say the emergency room sees about 22,000 visits a year.

But people living in the community say they're now left trying to find another doctor quickly.

There's mixed reaction in the community about the changes. Some are sad to see the local hospital go while others are looking forward to the growth.

ABC 27 tried talking to officials here at Shands Live Oak but we were told to leave.