2 Boston-area hospitals are closed, delaying care for some patients

A Boston suburb is experiencing long ambulance wait times after severe flooding closed its hospital in 2020 and a transformer fire shut down a nearby suburb's hospital in February 2023. 

The residents in Norwood, Mass., now have "significantly longer" transport times, Jim Wright, the city's interim fire chief, told NPR station WGBH

Signature Healthcare, the Brockton, Mass.-based system that owns the hospital that caught fire, recently opened two urgent care sites to help mitigate the gap in healthcare. But because Norwood was already waiting until 2025 for its new hospital after the flood, the strain on the community has only amplified in the past few weeks, according to the local news outlet.

Despite gathering help from surrounding cities, Norwood's ambulances are often stuck out of town because of their longer transport times to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton and hospitals in Boston, WGBH reported. 

"We would like it if our citizens could get to the hospital in two minutes rather than 15 or 20 minutes, but there is nothing we can do until the hospital is built," Mr. Wright told WGBH.

The inpatient unit at Brockton Hospital is expected to recover from the 10-alarm fire and reopen this summer, and after breaking ground in 2021, Steward's new Norwood Hospital will have a steel frame in the next two to three months, according to the report.

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