(NEWSER) – The closing of a hospital in rural North Carolina may not seem like a huge deal—on its own. But the shuttering of Pungo Hospital in the largely black town of Belhaven is just another example of a US rural hospital closing up shop, Al Jazeera reports. Last year, 14 rural hospitals closed across the country, cutting off emergency services and curbing economic growth to entire communities. In Pungo's case, the hospital was Belhaven's biggest employer, so local officials are contemplating boosting property taxes by 10% to compensate for the revenue shortfall.

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