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Wed Oct 30, 2019, 11:29 PM

Uncertainty Plagues the Only Hospital in Southeast D.C.

At a public hearing on the only hospital in Southeast D.C., residents and hospital staff alike described dangerous conditions and demanded that the city provide better support. "Sitting here and listening to people testify was very heart wrenching. I totally empathize for all the people that were here," said UMC’s chief executive officer, Ira Gottlieb, after more than 30 people testified on Friday.

UMC, serving more than 150,000 residents in Wards 7 and 8, will close after a new hospital is built on the St. Elizabeths Campus in Congress Heights. But the new hospital isn't scheduled to open until December 2022, and in the meantime, staff describe the many ways UMC is struggling to get by. They say Southeast residents feel abandoned.

Compounding these struggles, it is unclear whether the city will meet this looming 2022 deadline. Health advocates are already pushing back against the company, Universal Health Services, that’s expected to operate the new hospital because of its troubled billing and anti-union practices. Moreover, advocates say, negotiations have been “shrouded in mysticism,” leaving little opportunity for community input. The Council isn't selecting the operator but will review the agreement. Health committee chair, Ward 7 Councilmember Vince Gray, says he does not know the status of negotiations as the Council hasn’t been actively involved.

“I really think we need to bring this to a conclusion. People need to have some predictability about what’s going to happen next,” Gray tells City Desk.

Read more: https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/city-desk/article/21094252/uncertainty-plagues-the-only-hospital-in-southeast-dc

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Reply Uncertainty Plagues the Only Hospital in Southeast D.C. (Original post)
TexasTowelie Oct 30 OP
JudyM Nov 2 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 11:14 AM

1. What a mess.

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