Thousands protest Hahnemann closure, push Wolf to intervene

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Thousands of people protested in front of Hahnemann University Hospital on Thursday afternoon to try and save the institution from what they believe is a real-estate deal.

The hospital is set to close in September. And emergency room service are being drastically diminished, and maternity services are ending, this week. Patty Eakin, political consultant for the Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners, says the Gov. Tom Wolf needs to step in.

“This should not be allowed to happen, and this train is moving pretty rapidly,” she said. “He and the mayor and the others need to get busy and fix this now.”

City Councilwoman Helen Gym agrees. 

“We are not going to let the maternity ward shut down in the next 48 hours!” she said. “We need the governor to be on it. That’s why we damn well elected him!”

Oncology patient Maria Garcia Bulkley was scheduled to have six rounds of chemotherapy here at Hahneman.

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“And I’m currently admitted for my fifth round, and I was told that I couldn’t have my sixth one here, which is devestating to me!” she said. 

She says there seems to a lot of deception going on at the hospital.

“Oh, it’s just heartbreaking! People are not getting the proper information. We’re all getting information from the news. Nobody’s telling us from administration.”

Dr. Kevin D’Mello, a Hahnemann physician, says if the hospital closes, it would be devastating for Philadelphia.

“How many patients will die due to delays in care from already high emergency room wait times getting even higher?” he asked. “How many patients will die due to the unavoidable medical errors that result from adding more patient volume to already stressed hospital systems?”

Eakin says they’re not going to take it lying down. “You can’t shut down a Philadelphia institution that’s set for the public good, just so that you can have some private commodity.”

State Rep. Brian Sims said, “Hahnemann belongs to everybody. It does not belong to Joel Freedman. So, Joel Freedman, we have just one thing to say to you: Hell No!”

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