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Providence Hospital's emergency room set to close at end of 2018

Providence Hospital (ABC7)
Providence Hospital (ABC7)
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On Thursday, doctors, nurses, and other hospital workers protested the decision to end all acute care at Providence Hospital in Northeast Washington by years end.

The owner, Ascension Health of St. Louis, had already decided to end obstetrics services at the hospital, and soon 50,000 emergency room patients annually will have to go elsewhere.

"That means that our ER time will grow longer, the wait will be long, there'll be more pressure on other hospitals taking in these patients," Elissa Curry, R.N. said.

Providence Hospital's annual reports say it lost $9.7 million in 2016 and $23 million last year.

The hospital released the following statement on their decision:

"The data show that the supply of hospital beds in the District is more than twice the national average and community need for acute care services is generally met."

Critics say this decision about the owners of the hospital wanting to cash in on the D.C. development boom.

Providence Hospital has touted the idea of a health village, which would include housing, retail and recreation.

"We need hospital services. There's plenty of places for us to do residential development. It doesn't have to be on this campus," said Dr. Robert Williams.

Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie says its all moving too fast.

"I think the pace at which this has happened needs to slow down and we need to see a clear plan," said McDuffie.

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The charter for Providence Hospital was signed by President Abraham Lincoln. It is the longest continuously operating hospital in D.C.

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