- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

LOUISBURG, N.C. (AP) - Novant Health says it plans to close Franklin Medical Center in Louisburg at the end of next week, leaving the county without a hospital.

Local media outlets report officials say the hospital will stop admitting new patients on Wednesday, although the emergency room will see new patients until Oct. 16,

Novant Senior Vice President Patrick Easterling said in a statement that hospital usage had declined significantly over several years, and that despite investments in the hospital and a reconfiguration of services, it couldn’t be kept afloat.

A year ago, Novant eliminated most inpatient care at Franklin Medical Center, shifting focus to outpatient and emergency services. The hospital kept only 15 of its 70 inpatient beds. Of those, 13 were reserved for older patients with dementia or other behavioral problems.

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