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November 05, 2022

Delaware County Memorial Hospital emergency operations ordered to be suspended

Starting on Monday at 7 a.m. services at the Upper Darby facility will be stopped, the Pa. Health Department said on Friday

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DCMH ordered to stop emergency services Street View/Google Maps

Pa. Health Department ordered Delaware County Memorial Hospital to cease all emergency operations starting Monday at 7 a.m. This closure comes after a judge temporarily stopped Crozer Health from closing the hospital in October.

Emergency operations at Delaware County Memorial Hospital will no longer be available to patients starting at 7 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 7, after the state's Health Department ordered the closure at the Drexel Hill facility Friday evening. 

The suspension of emergency services comes at a time when the hospital has struggled to staff the facility.

The county blamed the staffing issues on Prospect Medical Holdings, the Los Angeles-based company that owns Crozer Health which operates DCMH, according to CBS 3.

The county also said that the decision to stop services shows a lack of concern for the well-being of residents.

A statement from Pa. Health Department said patients using DCMH should go to the next closest hospital for treatment.

"The [Pa.] department continues to actively monitor the situation at Delaware County Memorial Hospital to ensure patient safety is prioritized. Patients who would have gone to Delaware County Memorial Hospital are urged to go the next closest hospital for treatment and to call 9-1-1 in an emergency," the state Health Department said

While emergency services won't be available, outpatient services will not be interrupted at the hospital. 

In October, a Court of Common Pleas judge temporarily stopped a plan that would have closed DCMH and converted it into a behavioral health inpatient center.

That temporary order came after Crozer announced it would stop all emergency services at the hospital within 60 days in late September.

The county and nonprofit organization Foundation for Delaware County filed a joint petition to stop Crozer Health and Prospect from shutting down DCMH.

According to the Inquirer, Crozer filed a layoff notice through the Pa. Department of Labor that would eliminate over 300 jobs by Nov. 26. However, the company claimed it would have provided the employees with job opportunities at other Crozer-owned locations.

Crozer Health operates three other hospitals in Pennsylvania, Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Springfield Hospital, and Taylor Hospital. It also operates seven other facilities, including four outpatient facilities, two surgery centers, and a rejuvenation center for geriatric patients across the Commonwealth.

Crozer signed a deal with ChristianaCare, a nonprofit organization of private regional healthcare systems based in Delaware, to bring some new hospitals into the fold earlier this year. The deal would have brought four new hospitals, including Crozer's physician network, behavioral health providers, and a graduate medical education program. However, the deal was abandoned in August without reason as to why negotiations fell apart.

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