LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) - It's official: Lakewood Hospital will stop inpatient services next month.
"The announcement was made today by Cleveland Clinic that they would cease inpatient care on Feb. 5," said Lakewood Mayor Mike Summers.
Mayor Summers says this has been a long time coming. Over the last several years, Lakewood Hospital has suffered a significant decline in the number of patients enrolling for inpatient services.
"Ninety-four percent of the services citizens got from Lakewood Hospital was delivered on an outpatient basis and, by and large, almost all those services remained during the transition as we build this new outpatient delivered system," Summers said.
The new facility will open across the street at Belle and Detroit Avenue in 2018. Until then, the current emergency department will remain open.
Last month, Lakewood City Council voted to shutter the hospital and put a master agreement in place despite opposition from people who want to keep the facility open.
All 860 Lakewood Hospital employees will be offered jobs within the Cleveland Clinic system. No one will be laid off.
The mayor says health care is changing and it's time to look forward.
"What we need is something that will actually serve the citizens better than in the past and will also be financially viable long-term and this proposed strategy addresses that very well," Summers said.
Lakewood Hospital released the following statement in response:
"Today as the announcement was made that Lakewood Hospital will cease providing inpatient care, we continue to gather signatures for a referendum on the March ballot to save the hospital. There was no open bidding for the hospital deal even though 3 viable health care operators expressed earnest interest in maintaining and improving Lakewood Hospital. Our city taxes will go up and health care for Lakewood and surrounding communities will be compromised by this morally corrupt move to close Lakewood Hospital. We continue our campaign."