Officials at Butler (Pa.) Memorial Hospital have told the community that a replacement hospital is necessary to keep up with the times and relieve overcrowding throughout the 245-bed facility. At an open forum hosted by the hospital last week, officials said patient admissions and outpatient and emergency room visits have climbed steadily since 1999. As many as 80 ER patients are transferred to other facilities each week, they said. "The patient volume is overwhelming the bed capacity of the hospital. We don't need a bed or two. We need an emergency room two or three times this size," the hospital's ER medical director said in a news release. Officials did not respond to a request for comment, but according to local news reports, they would like to build a $150 million replacement hospital, possibly on a 33-acre tract outside the city limits. In 2002, the hospital earned net income of $7.6 million on $106 million in operating revenue, according to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. -- by Cinda Becker
Pa. hospital seeks replacement facility
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