Blue Island hospital may close

BLUE ISLAND, Ill. (WLS) -- A Blue Island hospital has asked an oversight board to cease its operations as the hospital searches for a new operator.

MetroSouth Medical Center has been trying to find a new buyer for the past two years, according to a press release about the hospital's filings with the Illinois Health Facilities and Service Review Board. The hospital has 314 licensed beds but serves fewer than 100 patients per day, which means it's only operating at about a third of its capacity.

"Closing the hospital is an immensely difficult and emotional decision, but the data is clear that patient needs have changed - here and across the country. Enormous half-empty hospitals are not what the future of health care looks like," John Walsh, CEO of MetroSouth Medical Center, says in the statement.

The hospital is in talks with several organizations to continue operating as a freestanding emergency department and outpatient treatment center.

"Reuse of this campus as an outpatient center would be a benefit for the community," Walsh said. "We are diligently pursuing such an opportunity, but we know the facility will not be able to operate into 2020 as a full-service community hospital."
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