Southeastern PA

Pottstown Memorial Medical Center abruptly closes pediatric unit

Charges are being filed by PASNAP

POTTSTOWN, Pa. - Pottstown Memorial Medical Center suddenly closed its pediatric unit Friday due to financial reasons and low admissions volume, according to a news release from the union PASNAP, or the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals.

"We are concerned that [Community Health Systems] and Reading has made a decision to put profit over patients," said Cindy Spacht, a registered nurse and 7-year employee of Pottstown Memorial Medical Center. "The PEDS unit is vital for the health of the children of Pottstown. Now, instead of getting quality care right here in our community, sick children will be packed up and shipped out to hospitals, some as far as 30 miles away."

Spacht said making individuals leave their community to receive care with only a two days notice is "heartless."

This closure, in addition to the Reading Hospital Systems pending purchase of the medical center, doesn't bode well for the community or faith that this acquisition preserves any level of community connection, the news release from PASNAP said.

PASNAP believes the abrupt closure of the pediatric unit is in direct violation of the law and its members filed charges with the National Labor Review Board.

"As a union of dedicated nurses, we are very disappointed in this hasty and thoughtless action by the hospital administration," said Bill Cruice, executive director of PASNAP. "The wellbeing of sick and injured children should be much more of a priority than they apparently are."

Cruice and PASNAP are strongly asking the current administration and incoming Reading Hospital administration to reconsider the decision.

69 News reached out to the hospital for confirmation, but the hospital has yet to return calls for comment on the union's statement.

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