Henry Ford closes 120 beds due to staffing shortage

Henry Ford Health System has closed 120 beds in its system because of staffing challenges, the Detroit-based organization said in a media briefing Sept. 13.

The health system said it is facing a shortage of hospital employees, which has been worsened by the pandemic.

"Unfortunately, our healthcare system, as well as other healthcare systems across the region, state and nation are facing unprecedented staffing challenges, only exasperated by this pandemic," Adnan Munkarah, MD, Henry Ford executive vice president and chief clinical officer said in the media briefing.

Most of the eliminated beds are in general medicine and some are in the intensive care unit, Dr. Munkarah added.

Henry Ford said that the bed capacity is being reduced to ensure that the health system can maintain a full spectrum of services at its five hospitals.

"Our patients continue to receive the highest and safest level of appropriate care from our care teams," Dr. Munkarah said.

The Sept. 13 announcement came as Michigan grapples with increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations. Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients are up 15 percent in the last two weeks. Henry Ford reported 129 COVID-19-related hospitalizations at its hospitals as of Sept. 13.

The announcement also followed a Sept. 10 deadline for its staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Henry Ford said that 98 percent of its workforce was compliant with its vaccine mandate. Those who were not compliant were suspended and have until Oct. 1 to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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