Hospital Officials for the Bronzeville institution, Mercy Hospital, announced today that it would be closing its doors in 2021. The announcement came today as representatives from the hospital stated that the proposed merger of several southside hospitals failed to receive funding.
Mercy and three southside area hospitals attempted to form a merger back in January of this year. The merger would have created an independent health system with one to two new hospitals. Also, within the new proposed health system would have been several outpatient facilities that would function to replace the services provided by the four area hospitals.
The proposed merger was set to be part of the South Side Transformation Plan and received $1.1 billion in funding over ten years through private and public sources. However, the Illinois Legislature changed course and decided against funding the plan in its spring session as part of the state’s Illinois Hospital Transformation Program.
The president of Mercy Hospital and Medical Center Carol Schneider issued a statement today that read, “The decision to discontinue services at Mercy Hospital was not an easy one, but patients on the South Side have unmet needs within the current system.”
An email sent by hospital officials speaks to the needs of the patients in the community it serves. “The communities served by Mercy Hospital desperately need more early detection and diagnosis of illnesses and diseases, better care coordination among a multitude of providers to treat chronic diseases better, and more cost-effective and accessible urgent care and other outpatient services.”
Mercy Hospital is set to close sometime between February and May of 2021.
Paula J. Shelton is a lifestyle and freelance writer in Chicago. Follow her on social @beboldshineon.