JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi’s hospital crisis was front and center during a roundtable discussion on Thursday, October 19.

State Senator Sollie Norwood (D-District 28), educators and healthcare professionals discussed the hospital crisis at the Jackson Hinds Comprehensive Health Center (JHCHC).

Organizers said with more than 20 hospitals closing in Mississippi, the state could face some serious problems.

“They get in a situation where there’s almost a fatality, get shot or anything like that, they got to come to Jackson or somewhere else to get service. And then what happened is you driving 45 or 50 miles or 60 miles, and that’s a risk,” said Johnny Baskin, who attended the event.

Some healthcare professionals said Medicaid expansion money will not only bring in income and revenue to the state, but it will also provide adequate care to save many people’s lives.

“The $1 billion a year that our state would have been afforded, those moneys still are not exempt and it’s not going to be an impact on our state, because state economists are saying that it’s not going to negatively impact the state. It’s going to provide jobs, it’s going to provide better quality of health care throughout throughout the state. And most importantly, it’s going to save lives. And this is not a welfare program,” said Norwood.