Thursday, October 09, 2008

Emergency Operation - South Side councilor, residents are taking one last stab to save neighborhood hospital - News - News - Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh

Emergency Operation - South Side councilor, residents are taking one last stab to save neighborhood hospital - News - News - Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh Since taking office early this year, Pittsburgh City Councilor Bruce Kraus has fielded calls from South Side residents about everything from unruly drunks to the city's decision to relocate the Zone 3 police station. But nothing compares to the uproar he's heard over the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's plans to close South Side Hospital.

'We're pushing well into 400 letters,' Kraus says, dropping three two-inch thick binders on his office table. 'Pretty impressive, huh?'
No. It is not impressive. Huh is nothing but a time sink. It might be impressive when boy racers spin their wheels and make noise and smoke, but that is generally worthless too.

UPMC is going to run the Mercy Hospital. I live on the South Side. Mercy is equally as close to my house as is the South Side Hospital.

Furthermore, UPMC is running the rehab site along the river where the Steelers practice. So, we've already got that facility too. And, UPMC has parking lots as well.

How about if the shuttle buses that run from the South Side parking lots into Oakland are allowed to shuttle people who are not employees. That would be a HUGE victory for local residents and the region.

The time to take on UPMC was when I took on UPMC in 1999. That's when UPMC wanted to buy land at greatly reduced values along the river's edge for no net new jobs. There were better things that should have been done and I advocated for.

The football practice facility should have been built right behind the existing UPMC South Side Hospital so that they would have been able to boost that facilities value. There is plenty of land there that could have been used as it is not locked, closed, filled with a wasteland that was once a community asset and resource. Then we'd have the hospital for decades to come.

But no. Bruce Krause was not to be seen then, when it was needed.

Now it is too little and too late. And, his huffing won't help.

I had concerns about the UPMC Hospital long before the merger was announced.

1 comment:

deegazette said...

Plenty of SS oldtimers remember the last time SS hospital was to be closed and the community uproar prevented it. Sometime in the 70s if I recall. Times have changed and unfortunately it is more a money issue now and closing is unpreventable. I have been a patient at both facilities and prefer South Side for ease of access to the building. PAT buses stop closer to SS than Mercy for old, tired legs. The walk to SS hospital is easier too, nice and flat. Parking on SS is better than the overpriced Mercy parking garage. SS is a cleaner facility. I think SS processes patients more efficiently. Less time waited. Over the past year I have also had first hand experience at West Penn and St. Clair too. Much better experiences at each. As healthcare consumers we need to commend good service and point out less than good.