Union criticizes Partners' plan to close Massachusetts hospital

Kelly Gooch - Print  | 

The Service Employees International Union is denouncing Boston-based Partners HealthCare's plans to phase out medical services in Lynn, Mass., according to The Boston Globe.

"Citing declining patient revenue as a rationale for denying one of the poorest cities in Massachusetts access to a hospital is a specious argument at best," Veronica Turner, executive vice president of SEIU Local 1199, wrote to Partners CEO David Torchiana, MD, according to the report. "The business tactics of Partners seem to completely trump any meaningful commitment to the healthcare needs for the low-income residents of Massachusetts."

Partners in June announced it plans to close Union Hospital in Lynn and consolidate inpatient services at North Shore Medical Center Salem (Mass.) Hospital over the next three years. Partners asserts that the plan "realigns practices and facilities to make high-quality care more effective and efficient and improves access to the community-based care that North Shore residents use most."

Hospital officials said NSMC will continue to operate the current emergency department on the Union campus over the transition of the next several years. However, union officials said permanent emergency services are needed in Lynn, according to The Boston Globe. The union is also asking for an independent study of the community's healthcare needs and a public meeting before Partners makes any changes, the report notes.

A NSMC spokeswoman, Laura Fleming, told The Boston Globe, "We continue to work with our collective bargaining units to address their concerns as we work through our plans to improve care in this region."


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