HAMMOND, Ind. - There is outrage this week over the downsizing of Franciscan Hospital in Hammond, Indiana from 226 beds to just eight.
The hospital has been key for health care across that area.
Calumet City Mayor Thaddeus Jones says the measure will leave thousands of Illinois and Indiana residents without critical services provided by the hospital.
Many in the community agree with the mayor.
"My husband passed away last year from cancer. He was hospitalized here three times," said Mary Ellen Slazyk, who lives near the hosital. "And this is close to where my house was at, OK? But now, they're closing it, something like that happens to someone in the neighborhood, what are they gonna have to do?"
Slazyk went on to say that not everyone in the area has transportation and will be able to get to a hospital that farther away.
Mayor Jones also said that many Calumet City residents rely on the hospital, and that he and other suburban mayors were not notified by Franciscan of the plans.
In a statement on Friday, a spokesperson for the hospital said inpatient intake has dropped from 400-plus to just 50 to 60 patients a day, and that the vast majority of care rendered in Hammond is on an outpatient basis.