Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to the MetroWest Medical Center’s Board of Trustees on April 19. It was also submitted to SOURCE for publication.
To the Board of Trustees:
The Medical Executive Committee does not support the decision by Tenet Healthcare to close outpatient Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology at MetroWest Medical Center.
Closing the Cancer Center and reducing the timely availability of skilled Hematology/Oncology physician expertise will impact more than just cancer care. Patients and the medical center will be harmed.
We should expect significant adverse consequences to Radiology and Pathology. Surgery referrals will be negatively affected as will inpatient medicine admissions. Expert consultation for the management of coagulation disorders in postpartum hemorrhage will not be readily available. Emergency Department transfers to other hospitals will increase due to a lack of necessary services to care for patients in a timely and comprehensive manner. The absence of substantive Hematology/Oncology services also jeopardizes ACGME accreditation of residency training programs at MetroWest Medical Center.
Saint Vincent Hospital is a 40-minute drive from Framingham Union Hospital.
Cancer patients deserve to be cared for close to home.
Community confidence in the hospital is already waning as evidenced by consistently low willingness to recommend scores. Losing our cancer program will only lead to a further decline in negative community perceptions. More importantly, the loss compromises the ability of patients to access what should be considered ordinary health care in their community.
The medical staff will be working with all necessary parties to preserve our Cancer Center and the full complement of Hematology/Oncology services that our patients, our colleagues, and our community deserve.
Medical Executive Committee
MetroWest Medical Center