Brockton Hospital will be closed for at least three more months following a massive fire last week that led to the evacuation of nearly 200 patients.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but as crews work to rebuild, the timeline for the cleanup has both the staff and their patients concerned.
In a statement on Brockton Hospital's website, officials said they hope to reopen for limited inpatient services in three months, but they are still assessing all of the damages. They also said the timeline for reopening is "contingent on supply chain and access to necessary materials."
A lot of the medical professionals who work at Brockton Hospital have been off the job since the fire broke out on Feb. 7. They said there is still a lot of uncertainty about what is next for them.
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"Right now, it's pretty scary for all of us, as far as pay goes, and health insurance," registered nurse Nicole Tanner said.
Tanner said union members are meeting with hospital officials to discuss a plan going forward. They are also expressing their gratitude to the community and first responders for the support so far.
"It's definitely surreal. It's mind-blowing. You think these things will never happen," Tanner said.
The closure also has patients scrambling. The hospital announced it is opening two urgent care facilities on Liberty Street and Centre Street as alternatives for patients to seek care. There will also be extended hours at ambulatory locations.
"I'm sure it will be helpful. Is it enough? No, it's not enough," Brockton City Councilor Jeffrey Thompson said. "Three months seems short, but when lives are at stake, it's a pretty long time."
Most of the patients that would normally go to Brockton Hospital are now being diverted to Good Samaritan Medical Center. Nurses there said the emergency room was already overwhelmed after the closing of Norwood Hospital due to catastrophic flooding in 2020. The closure of Brockton Hospital only stretches their resources even more.
Brewster Ambulance said that is why they are making sure their crews are in position, ready to transport patients as soon as beds open up. They are also taking patients to other hospitals if their condition can warrant the travel time.
"We'll redistribute those patients to take a little bit of the pressure off of Good Samaritan when we can, and it's something we will continue to monitor," said Chris DiBona, Brewster's chief clinical officer.