Madera Community Hospital to close Friday, labor and delivery stop immediately

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Thursday, December 29, 2022
Madera Community Hospital to close Friday, labor and delivery stop immediately
Madera Community Hospital has moved up its closing date from early January to just before New Year's eve. All labor and delivery services have been put to a stop.

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A severe staffing shortage is forcing Madera Community Hospital to permanently close sooner than originally expected.

Ambulances moved patients from Madera Community Hospital Wednesday night as staff worked to shut down the emergency department at midnight on Friday.

Labor and delivery services ended Wednesday afternoon. Some services including surgery and outpatient radiology will continue through the original January 3 closure date.

"There is not enough staff any longer to run the hospital until that point because some have found new jobs and moved on," said David Bacci, Vice President of Hospital Council Northern and Central California.

He says as soon as the hospital closure was announced, staff started finding other jobs.

Some other hospitals in Central California have held job fairs to recruit the Madera Community staff.

As we've reported, the closure comes after a possible sale to Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, owned by Trinity Health, was canceled because of strict conditions imposed by the attorney general's office.

"What we're witnessing here is an issue of health equity where residents of a community will not have access to the health care they once did," said Bacci.

Health officials across the Valley are now concerned about longer wait times and hospital capacity.

Madera Community provides emergency services to about 150,000 people, many living in rural communities.

"Most of the patients who would have been getting care in Madera will now be going to Fresno to get their care," Bacci explained.

The hospital's board of directors is holding onto hope a buyer will swoop in while the case moves through bankruptcy court.

The Madera County Board of Supervisors is having an emergency meeting about the hospital's closure at 10 am Thursday.