DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — Local lawmakers are sounding the alarm over the uncertain future of a Delaware County hospital. They are concerned it will close and leave thousands in the community without health care services.
For residents of Delaware County, the uncertainty and the fear of not receiving the medical services they need when they need them continues to exacerbate.READ MORE: Former Giants CB James Bradberry Agrees To Terms On 1-Year Deal With Philadelphia Eagles
Crozer Health, the four-hospital system in that county, is once again cutting hospital services.
“They are putting our community at risk by the programs they are closing,” Delaware County Council Chair Monica Taylor said.
According to Prospect Medical Holdings, which owns Crozer Health, it has lost millions of dollars since the start of the pandemic and that’s why the company is cutting services.
“If you have a heart attack or if you need police or fire, those are usually helped or provided in cooperation but funded by the local governments,” Kevin Spiegel, the CEO of Crozer health, said. “Here, we’ve been doing this for free for 50 years.”
“First they shut down the maternity, then came the intensive care units and surgery. They recently announced they’re closing outpatient substance abuse clinics. They’re shuttering virtually every service,” state Rep. Mike Zabel said.
Zabel believes the complete closure of Delaware County Memorial Hospital is Crozer’s endgame.
“I’ve asked them, ‘Is this your intent to shutter Delaware County Memorial Hospital?’ And they have not denied,” he said.READ MORE: Pennsylvania US Senate Race Between Republicans Mehmet Oz, Dave McCormick Too Close To Call
Losing a centrally located hospital that is easy to get to could be disastrous.
“I’m concerned this is going to cost lives down the line,” Zabel said.
It’s a problem Zabel believes is not unique to this specific situation.
“This is part of the problem when you have a for-profit entity running a system. Their responsibility in their mind is to their investors, to their stakeholders,” Zabel said.
As for solutions? Champion not-for-profit health care.
“Being really mindful when we’re going through talks with our hospital entities and when there’s something that’s coming up, trying to support those nonprofits into running those hospitals in the best way that we can that they can stay open,” Taylor said.
Eyewitness News reached out to Prospect Holdings for comment but have not heard back.
Meanwhile, hope remains in Delaware County that Wilmington-based ChristianaCare, a private, not-for-profit healthcare provider, will purchase Crozer and alleviate so many of the area’s resident’s fears.MORE NEWS: WATCH LIVE: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Acting AG Matthew J. Platkin To Make Law Enforcement Announcement
CBS3’s Ross DiMattei contributed to this report.