Hospital closure leads to more patients at other hospitals

Lancaster

When it was announced that UPMC Pinnace Lancaster would close on the last day of February, everyone expected health care to be impacted.

More than a month after the closure, we’re getting a better glimpse on how it’s happening, and it appears hospitals in Lancaster County are seeing more patients, including the other hospital in the city.

Tammy Rojas, a leader with the Lancaster Healthcare Rights Committee, said she has heard of some of those struggles.

“We actually have a member that lives out in Leola that really has had a difficult time getting care at (Penn Medicine) Lancaster General Hospital,” Rojas said.

A Lancaster General Hospital spokeswoman said they’ve seen an extra 14 patients a day in their emergency room since the end of February.

UPMC Pinnacle is also reporting longer wait times at its location in Lititz, which is about seven miles outside of Lancaster. A spokeswoman said at that location, they’re seeing an extra 10 patients a day. 

A WellSpan Ephrata spokesperson said they are averaging a total of 81 emergency room patients.

“We’ve been saying that from the beginning that this hospital closing is not just going to affect city residents,” said Rojas, who tried to save the Lancaster location. “We said from the beginning it was a county issue.”

Lancaster General Health is working to build a temporary expansion of its emergency room to deal with increased demand.

As for the old hospital building on College Avenue, Lancaster officials said they met with UPMC Pinnacle administrators. During that meeting, the administrators expressed an interest in selling the building.

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