Community Forum to Discuss the New Cooper Green Indigent Healthcare System

The leader of Jefferson County's largest physicians group will speak at a community forum about why the new indigent healthcare system at Cooper Green is failing poor patients and how it could increase everyone's healthcare costs.

The forum is set for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at the Five Points West Public Library (4812 Avenue W, Birmingham, AL 35208), across from the Birmingham CrossPlex Sports Center.Dr. Gregory Ayers, president-elect of the Jefferson County Medical Society, will discuss his group's recent open letter strongly criticizing the current system and proposals to fix what's been broken since the County Commission voted to end in-patient care and emergency room services at Cooper Green Hospital on Dec. 31.The down-sized facility re-opened Jan. 1 as an urgent care center. But Dr. Ayers and the Medical Society, in the letter, called the current system "an abject failure." The letter said county officials ignored the physicians' repeated attempts to fix problems with delivery of proper healthcare for the county's poor and under-insured.

Dr. Mark Wilson, head of the Jefferson County Department of Health, is also a featured speaker at the forum.{}