No ICU beds. No hospital. What’s the plan?

INDIANAPOLIS – Nearly a quarter-million Hoosiers live in counties without a hospital. More than half a million more live in counties without a single intensive care unit bed. The numbers from the Kaiser Health News illustrate the scope of the challenge the Holcomb administration faces in ensuring the safety of Hoosiers living in a health care desert.

Nearly 185,000 Hoosiers who are 60 years old or older live in the 36 Indiana counties without an ICU bed. The COVID-19 virus poses an acute risk to older Hoosiers who are at most risk for hospitalization.

In his speech Monday, Holcomb told Hoosiers we “know COVID-19 is spreading statewide.” He noted the approach to coordinate hospitals’ response in central Indiana would be “replicated across the state.”

How will counties without hospitals or ICU beds coordinate? Where will sick Hoosiers requiring intensive care turn to? Indiana Democratic Party Executive Director Lauren Ganapini called on Governor Eric Holcomb to make those details clearer.

“Hoosiers want a plan,” said Ganapini. “Nearly 200,000 older Hoosiers live in a health care desert and don’t have an option near home if they fall gravely sick. Governor Holcomb needs to put their concerns at ease by laying out a clear plan for how the state will surge its hospital capacity in counties lacking hospitals.”

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