Several Upstate hospitals are opening doors and beds to patients evacuated from medical facilities on the coast, as a result of Hurricane Florence.
At least 40 patients have found medical refuge in hospitals in Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson.
Bon Secours St. Francis Health System took on six patients; AnMed Health in Anderson had taken in 11 from Grand Strand Medical Center, and Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System took in 23 patents — 18 at Spartanburg Medical Center and five more at its hospital for restorative care, a medical facility for extended stays, according to hospital spokeswoman Sharon Jackson.
Those patients were transported by ambulance, but hospitals are also working to keep regular operations running smoothly to accommodate local patients or evacuees who come on their own to the Upstate.
“We realize the influx of storm evacuees to our area may lead to increased demand for health care, and the changing weather conditions could lead to delays or closings at some of our medical facilities,” Bon Secours St. Francis spokeswoman Jennifer Robinson said in an email. “To ensure everyone still has access to the care they need, we’re offering free virtual doctor visits to people in need of immediate, minor medical assistance through our Bon Secours 24/7 App.”
Anyone who needs the service can download the app and use the code word FLORENCE.
“We have also stocked up on food, medication and other supplies in preparation for any increase in demand and/or disruptions in supplies as a result of the storm,” she said.
Evacuees who have non-emergency medical needs may contact the Department Health and Environmental Control to find out about a special medical needs shelter. The DHEC care line number is 855-472-3432, according to a statement from AnMed Health. Evacuees, who need dialysis treatment and have not made previous arrangements should also call the DHEC care line number at 855-472-3432 to get directed to an area dialysis clinic.