Many of us were distressed to learn that the Cathedral Healthcare System planned to close two city hospitals. As we’ve read, Mayor Cory Booker was furious about the plan, and rightfully so. It is obvious that certain city hospitals are straining under their patient loads and heavy financial burdens as it is. To lose two community hospitals like that would be disastrous for the city.
Well, at Wednesday evening’s council meeting, East Ward Councilman Augusto Amador announced that after negotiations involving himself, Mayor Booker and officials the Cathedral Healthcare System, they reached an agreement to keep St. James Hospital in the Ironbound open.
Between now and March 15, however, the hospital would undergo some major changes, although Amador did not specify what modifications would be implemented. He said there would another meeting on Jan. 22 to discuss future operating plans for both hospitals. Also, North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, Jr., is also working on ways to keep medical services in place at Columbus Hospital.
I really hope they find an acceptable way to keep those facilities open and delivering quality medical services — not just to Newarkers, but also those in neighboring towns that might depend on them as well.