Sunday, December 21, 2008

Temple to close hospital deemed critical safety-net provider

Just received this information:

Temple managers have told hospital staff that Temple intends to virtually close Northeastern Hospital, eliminating maternity and other services, possibly leaving intact only an "urgi-care" center and certain outpatient facilities.

Temple is a critical safety-net service provider for the Port Richmond, Kensington, Bridesburg, Juniata and Fishtown communities in Philadelphia.

The closing of the busy maternity service, the 14th maternity department to be shuttered in the Philadelphia area since 1997, will mean the elimination of all maternity services east of the hospitals on Broad Street from Center City Philadelphia to the Bucks County line.

Temple receives special "Enhanced Government Support" from the state, funds that most other hospitals do not receive, so they can perform their role as the safety net hospital for poor and under-served neighborhoods in Philadelphia. According to Temple's own financial statements, TUHS has received more than $120,000,000 in these funds over the past five years; more than $27,000,000 of this amount was specifically designated for Northeastern hospital.

Join with nurses, doctors, community and political leaders at a candlelight vigil to protest Temple's plans to eliminate vital services at Northeastern on Monday, Dec. 22 from 6:15 to 8 p.m. The vigil will be held at Northeastern Hospital, corner of Allegheny Ave. and Tulip Streets, in Port Richmond.

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