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Sumter inmates getting health care closer to home

A month and a half after the issue of the medical care of inmates was tabled twice by the Sumter County Commission, It was finally voted on and approved during the latest commission meeting allowing the inmates to go to the Rush clinic in Livingston, which is only one half a mile from the new Sumter County Jail instead of making the deputies and the sheriff drive 22 miles roundtrip to Hill Hospital in York.

The commission agreed to the requests of Sumter County Sheriff Johnny Hatter, who wanted the commission to cancel the current contract with Hill Hospital in York and allow them to transport the inmates to the Rush clinic in Livingston like they use too.

Commissioner Ronnie Beard said the main issues with the medical care of the inmates are the distance involved and the money. Beard also said we originally used Jerry and Eleanor Eller as the doctors and paid them $500 for their services.

He said the county changed to a doctor in York because they charged $450, but here in lies the problem. He also said all the traveling really hurt the sheriff’s department last year.

“After they travel 22 miles round trip and wait a couple of hours to visit the doctor, it just makes good sense to keep them in Livingston,” Beard said.

Hatter said he would like them to just keep it in Livingston. He also said doing all that traveling and waiting; at least in Livingston they rush the inmate in and rush them back out.

Beard said the commissioners agreed with Sheriff Hatter and are currently in negotiations with Eller to make this happen. He also said one of the holdups is they are asking for $750 now, instead of the original $500.

“The commissioners are going to hold a special work group and continue to negotiate the price,” Beard said.

The commission finally agreed to the price of $750 dollars for the medical care in Livingston. The commission also approved to cancel the contract with Hill Hospital in York on June 1.

“It would just be better to rush the inmates over there and get them back in the jail as quickly as possible,” Hatter said.