The McDuffie County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to hire a firm to provide a physician for inmate health services at the jail.
Another dilemma now confronts commissioners along with sheriff's officials as to how they will provide for a nurse at the law enforcement center and whether that medical person would be a registered nurse (R.N.) or a licensed practical nurse (L.P.N.).
Commissioners have agreed to enter into a three-year contract with Advanced Correctional Healthcare to provide for a doctor to treat inmates at the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center in Thomson one day each week. The firm will be providing such services at a cost of approximately $65,400 a year.
The contract calls for a 3 percent increase every year. A doctor is not expected to be contracted out by the firm until sometime next month.
Still, there is the need for a nurse at the facility, according to McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall.
"We need a nurse there to do certain things," Sheriff Marshall said.
Commissioners still are looking into the cost of a nurse and whether they could save money by having a local health department nurse do the work, instead of having it contracted through the firm that will be supplying the doctor.
Sheriff Marshall commended the services that Dr. Jamie Lemley has provided to inmates at the county jail for more than a year.
"He (Dr. Lemley) has gone above and beyond to help us by providing medical care to the inmates at our jail," Sheriff Marshall said. "He's really been a big help to us and a big help to this county."
Commissioners are hoping to resolve the nurse question in the near future.