Mercy Philadelphia Hospital plans to close emergency room, suspend inpatient services

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A West Philadelphia hospital that has been around for more than 100 years will be closing its emergency room and ending its inpatient services.

Nasir Sadiq lives just blocks from Mercy Philadelphia Hospital and says it's been a lifesaver.

"They need this hospital in this community. I am positive of that," said Sadiq.

He was stunned to hear the 157-bed facility will soon stop inpatient services.

"That is detrimental, man. This is pretty much an urban neighborhood...there are a lot of injuries around this neighborhood and this is the closest place to go to," said Sadiq.

So far, no date has been giving for the closure but the hospital says a lack of finances and a reduction in patients are the main reasons they will stop inpatient care. The news is concerning for Council member Jamie Gauthier.

"I am saddened and I am very concerned. The elimination of inpatient services and the closures of the emergency room means that lots of people who need healthcare in West and Southwest Philadelphia will have a much tougher time accessing it," said Gauthier of the 3rd District.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Mercy says, "At Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic, our catholic mission guides us to continually evaluate how we can best serve our community. After careful consideration, we have come to the financial realization that our Mercy Philadelphia campus simply cannot continue operating in an acute-care capacity over the long term. This is not a decision we have taken lightly. It is, however, the decision we are called to make.

In the coming months, we will begin the slow, deliberate and informed process of transforming our campus away from an inpatient hospital, shifting toward a model that can better and more sustainably serve the West Philadelphia community in the future. While we do not yet have all the answers, we promise to keep our patients, physicians and colleagues informed throughout every step of this process."

"It is a sad situation because in Philadelphia a lot of people get shot. They get stabbed and robbed and stuff like that and a hospital is like a go-to, so for it to be so close and now they have to travel a little bit far out of this area so it's an unfortunate situation," said Khalil White of Southwest Philadelphia

Whatever the future holds for the hospital, the community and its leaders are hoping it still has a presence and will serve residents in need, in some capacity.

"Yeah, for the people, I wish they would. I hope they do because there are a lot of people who are sick around here and they really need help," said Willie Bond of West Philadelphia.

"They are scared that is the reaction I am getting. People don't know what will fill this gap yet," said Gauthier.

The hospital employs 900 workers. A spokesperson says when inpatient services are closed, most services will likely be transferred to Mercy's sister hospital, Mercy Fitzgerald, which is about three miles away.
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