People in Jacksonville could soon have fewer health care options.
Friday night, I’m digging into claims that could affect how and when you get seen by a doctor. I spoke with a patient at St. Vincent’s who says Ascension St. Vincent’s Hospital is closing down clinics in areas that need them the most.
“It’s health zone 1, so health zone 1 has limited access. There’s not another clinic anywhere near this area,” says Shirley Moon, a patient at one of those clinics, Ascension Medical Group St. Vincent’s Primary Care at St. Pius on the Northside.
“It’s taking the health care out of this area,” says Moon.
Ascension St. Vincent’s Hospital has 168 medical facilities around Jacksonville.
The list is long, but they range from hospitals to cancer care, physical therapy, imaging centers and clinics.
“This is my family’s primary care doctor, my husband and my daughter,” says Moon.
Doors at St. Pius are supposed to be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday, but Moon says St. Vincent’s told her it is closing down this location at the end of next month.
She was told she could go to the St. Vincent’s clinic on Edgewood and Lem Turner or the one on Shircliff Way near the Dillon Building of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Riverside.
“Edgewood you can get in, it’s a short wait, but at the Dillon Building, it’s a month to three months’ wait as a new patient,” says Moon.
Moon says the St. Vincent’s Clinic on Hodges is also closing down. Another patient who wishes to remain anonymous says, “St. Vincent’s Riverside is firing tons of doctors and nurses. They are letting go of whole departments, including infectious disease and stroke clinicians. They are also shutting down numerous units.”
I reached out to St. Vincent’s public relations manager, Kyle Sieg, who told me, “We are consistently exploring strategic options to make certain we are best able to continue serving the broader community with compassionate, personalized care. Impacted patients will be notified in advance of a clinic’s closing.”
“This is a community that we need to bring services into and not take services out of,” says Moon.
As far as the staff go, Moon tells me that her nurses and doctors say they’re being fired at the end of next month and aren’t being offered a job elsewhere. They’re reportedly being given a pink slip and a severance package instead.
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