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Rural patients unable to transfer to full Arizona hospitals

Hospital Hallway
Posted at 1:28 PM, Sep 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-19 16:28:14-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — As Arizona's biggest hospitals fill up with COVID-19 cases, physicians in some of the state's smaller or more rural communities fear it's their patients who need specialty care who will pay the ultimate price.

From Bisbee up to Flagstaff, smaller hospitals are trying to maintain the delicate balance of caring for patients without having to transfer them to major hospitals.

The state's largest health care providers have been deluged with virus-infected patients -- most of whom are unvaccinated -- as well as patients who put off care during the early months of the pandemic.

The inability to find a bed has left smaller facilities frustrated.