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Reese Hospital Closing to Cost Healthcare Jobs

Posted on June 13, 2008

The closure of a Chicago hospital will soon cause the loss of over 200 healthcare jobs. The operators of the Michael Reese Hospital, which is located on the city’s south side, recently submitted the plans for closing to the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. If the Board approves this decision then the hospital and the healthcare jobs it provides will be no more as early as fall of this year.

Reese has been suffering financial problems for sometime, but the decision to expedite its closure was based on the fact that the land may be a key piece in the city’s bid to hold the Olympics in 2016. The hospital’s problems have included over ten million dollars in losses, challenges brought on by changes in ownership and the rising number of uninsured patients who are unable to pay their medical bills.

Add to this the fact that the hospital has also had a difficulty in keeping both patients and workers for various healthcare jobs due to increased rivalry from near by medical centers and the situation became critical.

Despite doing away with more than 200 jobs, an attorney for the Reese hospital has said that the shutdown is not expected to effect the status of care given to Chicago’s ill. Records show that the number of patients served by the facilities has decreased to around 85, which is less than 20 percent of the 450-bed hospital’s capacity.

Those who hold employment at Reese are, nevertheless, concerned. Some of the employees to be effected have contacted city leaders to ask that job training and placement assistance programs might be ensured, according to a statement from SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana, which has many workers at the hospital.

Before closing, the board must approve Reese’s plan, which could take months to become a reality when considering the state rules which must be followed. A spokesperson for the Board, Melaney Arnold, said that there has been no date set at this time as for the closure of the hospital.