Watch CBS News

First responders, nurses say Steward crisis hurts patients with understaffing, longer response times

First responders say Steward hospital closures could endanger patients
First responders say Steward hospital closures could endanger patients 01:55

BOSTON - Lawmakers are demanding answers from Steward Health Care - the financially troubled hospital network in Massachusetts.

Congressman Stephen Lynch visited two Steward hospitals Wednesday and revealed one of the hospitals may be closing.

Steward Health Care is millions of dollars in debt, putting the future of 10 Massachusetts hospitals in limbo, including Norwood Hospital, where construction on the facility is at a halt.

Lynch joined Governor Maura Healey's call for its CEO to turn over the financial records by Friday.

"We need to get complete transparency from Steward Healthcare - about their finances, about their plans," Lynch said. "He bought a couple of yachts, one of them is off the coast of Ecuador meanwhile these nine hospitals are struggling."

The state is trying to come up with a rescue plan - to either sell each facility or allow another healthcare group to take over, but it can't do that without knowing just how bad the debt is.  

"Those talks are happening, but they're equally hampered by the incomplete information on the debt structure," said Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh.

Meanwhile, nurses say they're understaffed, and first responders fear closures will put patient safety at risk.

"Since this hospital closed, our transport times have doubled and tripled," said Dennis Mawn of Norwood Firefighters Local 1631.

Lynch said he was first alerted to the crisis a few weeks ago.

"We got word from them when they were $50 million behind on rent," Lynch said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.