HAMMOND, Ind. (WLS) -- A Lake County Superior Court judge granted a preliminary injunction to stop Franciscan Health from shuttering its downtown Hammond ER by the end of the year.
The court order will keep the emergency room open for the next nine months to allow the city to find a replacement hospital, Mayor Tom McDermott tweeted Thursday.
Last year Franciscan Health announced it was drastically downsizing its Hammond location, which used to be called St. Margaret's Hospital, which had been operating with just 10 inpatient beds along with an emergency department.
Hospital officials said in the past 15 months the location has been averaging fewer than three inpatients a day, and the vast majority of the people who use the ER would be better served with an urgent care or other setting.
Mayor McDermott accused the hospital system of abandoning the poor in favor of wealthier patients in its remaining Indiana campuses. Attorneys for the hospital insisted the closure is financially necessary, and doesn't pose a significant risk to the community.