Staff departures force Alaska hospital to suspend all major surgeries

Sitka (Alaska) Community Hospital will suspend all major surgeries, effective Feb. 28, the Daily Sitka Sentinel reports.

Four things to know:

1. CEO Rob Allen said the decision stemmed from a citywide mandate "to limit operating expenses during negotiations of the final agreement with [Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium], and also staff departures," according to the report.

2. The hospital and the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium have been negotiating for more than a year to create a single health system in Sitka.

3. Mr. Allen added that recent staff departures have created challenges in keeping the hospital's programs open, and that hiring traveling staff for short-term contracts is difficult and expensive, the report states.

"We are 100 percent committed to maintaining our high standards of care as long as SCH remains in existence, and will avoid any conditions that could conceivably jeopardize patient safety," he added.

4. The hospital will continue offering minor surgical procedures at its outpatient clinic in Sitka. Mr. Allen said that all patients scheduled to undergo surgery after Feb. 28 will be able to receive care at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka.

To access the full report, click here.

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