Metro South Medical Center will no longer take new patients

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BLUE ISLAND, Ill. — Metro South Medical Center in south suburban Blue Island announced Friday it's not accepting new patients effective immediately.

The facility released a statement saying the hospital will temporarily suspend the general emergency department and the obstetrics emergency department.

The statement said the independent general surgery group submitted its resignation this week effective Friday. An in addition, nearly 15 percent of the hospital’s staff has left and the cardiac catherization lab was temporarily suspended in August due to understaffing.

There's been on ongoing battle over the future of the hospital, which cites low patient volume.

Metro South told employees it intended to move up the date to close the hospital to September 30. But this week, a state board delayed a vote on the closing until next month.

“Patient care and safety is our highest priority,” CEO John Walsh said in a statement. “We intend to take every step necessary to avoid impacting our ability to provide a safe level of care to our patients.”

Supporters are vowing to keep fighting for this hospital.

SEIU, the union representing some of the workers, is calling on the attorney general’s office and the Pritzker administration to intervene.

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