CHICAGO (SCS) — Cook County leaders, including Chairman Toni Preckwinkle, have revealed plans to welcome the return of ambulance services to a South Side hospital.
Cook County Provident Hospital in Washington Park is preparing to welcome ambulance patients again. It should start on Wednesday.
The hospital shut down service in 2011 in a bid to cut costs, causing significant pressure at other nearby emergency rooms and cutting dozens of nursing positions.
From around 8:00 a.m., ambulance services will resume, this time with new capabilities like a newly installed MRI, an inpatient dialysis service and the reopening of the ICU.
“To get here today, we had to do about $2 million in renovations to the emergency department. We need to do another $2 million to start our MRI and we needed to do $1.3 million a year which will be part of our process to be able to have the expanded medical, surgical and critical care capabilities,” said Chief Executive of Cook County Health Israel Rocha Jr.
“I think expanding coverage made that process much more viable and that’s what led us to reopen. So being able to have the Affordable Care Act, expanding Medicaid, more services and great investment assistance from the county made it a viable project.
According to Cook County Council Chairman Preckwinkle, more than $5 million in investment has since gone into the hospital. The plan is to continue this growth.