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South Bay Residents Worried About Hospital Closure

Thousands of South Bay residents are worried the closest hospital to them is going to close because of bankruptcy. A bankruptcy judge agreed to let Santa Clara County buy St. Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, and another medical facility in Morgan Hill, but the state attorney general is trying to end the deal. More than 58,000 live in Gilroy and many of them go to St. Louise Regional Hospital for medical care. If the sale falls through, the county says the hospital and other medical facilities owned by the corporation might be left with no options. Gilroy residents are afraid the move by the attorney general may force the hospital to close. “I can’t imagine that they keep the hospital open because we’re the only bidder,” said county executive Jeff Smith. Santa Clara County officials said the sale conditions would violate state statutes for a government agency, some include transferring hospital employees’ pensions and collective bargaining agreements to the county. “The California Department of Justice is committed to advocating for conditions that ensure communities have access to essential healthcare services," the office of the attorney general said in a statement. Stuck in the middle are patients, who are concerned about their health care. “I think the sale should go through,” said patient Margaret Sielert. “We definitely need a hospital out here, this area is growing more and more.” The De Paul Health Center in Morgan Hill and O’Connor Hospital in San Jose may also be affected by the potential purchase. Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

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