STUART, Va. — The only hospital in one southwest Virginia county is closing.

Media outlets report the Pioneer Health Services facility in Stuart is diverting emergency room patients to other hospitals and discharging or transferring other patients. According to The Roanoke Times , the next-closest hospital is in Martinsville, about a half-hour away.

The move comes around 18 months after the hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Local officials tell the Martinsville Bulletin they’re concerned about the effect the closure will have on economic development. The hospital was one of the largest private employers in Patrick County.

Patrick County Emergency Services Coordinator Steve Allen says the closure also means the county’s residents won’t have night-time health care they can drive to in “a timely manner” unless they live near the county lines.

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