ALBANY – A false Facebook post making defamatory statements about Phoebe Putney memorial Hospital could endanger southwest Georgians who need emergency medical care. The post appeared in at least two public groups and was shared numerous times by members of those groups.
The post falsely claims that only four nurses will be working in the main Phoebe emergency room and only two nurses will be working in the Phoebe North emergency room this weekend. The post is labeled an “Emergency Room Advisory.” It is written as if it comes from a legitimate news source and appears to include a message from Phoebe encouraging people in need of emergency care not to seek treatment at Phoebe hospitals.
“It is clear from the comments on these posts, that many Facebook users believe this message is factual. This post is not true, and it is irresponsible of these sites to make up and post information that might lead an innocent person to bypass the closest emergency room and drive 45 minutes away to receive necessary care,” Scott Steiner, Phoebe's president and CEO, said in a news release. “False and misleading posts about Phoebe are common on these sites. Typically, we simply ignore those posts and focus our energy and attention on providing quality care to patients, but this post is different. It literally could put lives at risk, and the right thing for us to do is to let the people of southwest Georgia know they should not believe it.”
Phoebe emergency rooms operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Anyone truly in need of emergency care should call 911 or seek that care immediately at the closest emergency center.