Friday, July 19, 2013

Pa. Supreme Court keeps rural health centers open

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an injunction Wednesday, blocking the closure of nearly half the state's 60 rural health centers. Republican Gov. Tom Corbett had planned to eliminate 26 to 27 nursing positions by consolidating the centers, a move that could save the state $3.4 million. The nurses' union filed a lawsuit "saying the administration did not have the authority to close the centers; the union cited a state law that said approval from the Legislature is needed for such closures," Kate Giammarise reports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (Photo by Noelker and Hull architecture: Keystone Rural Health Center in Chambersburg)

Health centers in Carbon, Beaver, and Mifflin counties had already been closed, and 18 nurses were laid off, Amy Worden reports for The Philadelphia Inquirer. The state Department of Health said "it instituted the closures to try to revamp health access in rural areas by putting nurses on the road and delivering services through health fairs and other events rather than brick-and-mortar clinics," Worden reports. "The ruling would require the state to re-open health care centers that provide testing for communicable diseases and other services, and reinstate the nurses positions, pending appeal." (Read more)

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