25 Investigates: Hospital wait times may increase after Brockton fire

BROCKTON, Mass — About 50 people were transported to Brockton Hospital every day by ambulance before a fire forced the hospital to close on Tuesday, according to Brockton Fire Chief Brian Nardelli. Nardelli is among numerous city and state officials working on a plan to reroute patients to other area hospitals.

“This is quite an impact on EMS overall, for the entire south of Boston area. I can assure you we are working with our medical partners and with Brockton Hospital to make sure we work this out,” Nardelli said.

25 Investigates has learned nearby Good Samaritan Medical Center is absorbing extra patients but some may have to be taken to hospitals further away. Beth Israel Plymouth and South Shore Hospital can accept trauma cases and if needed, patients can be Boston or even Cape Cod.

Brockton Hospital is the third hospital south of Boston to abruptly close in less than three years. In June 2020, Norwood Hospital shut down after torrential downpours flooded it. Steward Health Care closed an emergency room in Quincy in November of the same year. More than 400 beds have been lost.

Chief Nardelli, Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan and other city and state officials met with Brockton Hospital administrators Thursday afternoon to discuss a plan forward.

“We have to plan and we have to try to figure out how we can fast track to get this back online,” Mayor Sullivan said.

The Mayor told 25 Investigates he has not been provided an estimate of when the hospital might reopen. A hospital spokesperson said an assessment of the damage is ongoing and a decision isn’t expected until it’s complete. He said he’s making city inspectors available to the hospital to expedite the process.

Katie Murphy, President of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, said emergency rooms are already crowded and she expects wait times south of Boston to increase.

“170 patients left Brockton Hospital. Where are they going? Every emergency department, including Brockton, is full to the brim. We have people in the hallways, people being triaged in the waiting room. This is ongoing,” she said.

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