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City leaders ask Ascension to wait a year before scaling back services at St. Joseph

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – City leaders are worried about a ripple effect if St. Joseph hospital goes through with its plans to eliminate some services.

Some city leaders are asking the hospital to wait a year before downsizing and come up with a new plan or reverse the decision.

The hospital at 50th and Chambers decided to scale back on some of its services, including surgical stays that hospital officials say aren’t used a lot.

St. Joseph’s has promised to send patients who need those services to another hospital, but people in that area say there’s not another hospital within several miles.

City leaders fear that Ascension may decide to do the same downsizing at its St. Francis location. They also believe the changes will put a strain on other hospitals.

“This problem is beyond St. Joe’s and beyond Ascension, because the impact to St. Joe’s decision will have a direct impact now on Aurora Sinai. Aurora Sinai, who I spoke with this afternoon, they're 93% at capacity right now. By reducing the primary care facility at St. Joe’s, it puts more burden on Aurora Sinai and Froedtert Hospital,” said 10th District Alderman Michael Murphy.

The hospital will get back to city leaders about their request. The head of the health department plans to meet with them on Friday.

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