Hammond hospital ordered to keep ER running another 9 months
HAMMOND, Ind. — A Northwest Indiana hospital must keep its emergency room open for another nine months after a judge sided with the City of Hammond.
Franciscan Health Hammond asked a judge to lift a preliminary injunction, which is currently in place as of Monday, that requires the hospital to continue operating its emergency room. They claimed they cannot operate the emergency room safely.
On Thursday, a Lake County judge denied the hospitals request and sided again with the City of Hammond.
The city argued the hospital unfairly broke a promise 18 months ago to continue providing around the lock emergency medical care as it was downsizing.
“I’m upset about this obviously, but it’s more emblematic about a broken health care system in our country,” Mayor Thomas McDermott said.
The judge ruled that the hospital couldn’t take steps to “diminish or reduce” the services currently provided for nine months.
“People will die and the leadership of this religious institution knows that,” McDermott said. “They know it’s a cost-cutting move that will have an impact on people’s lives and they just don’t care and it’s very sad.”
In court documents, Franciscan’s interim president Barbara Anderson said Hammond is in “no worse position” than if it closed the entire hospital in May 2021. She cited two full-service acute-care hospitals nearby.
“What happens if I have an ambulance in Munster waiting on a patient in Munster and someone in this neighborhood has a heart attack?” McDermott said. “They’re gonna die.”
McDermott said there have been around 28,000 ambulance runs to the ER in the last five years.
Suggest a Correction