A judge in Philadelphia provided a temporary reprieve yesterday for the planned closing of 369-bed Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital, ordering Tenet Healthcare Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., to wait 10 days before transferring patients or moving forward with plans to shutter the 153-year-old facility on March 31. Common Pleas Court Judge Matthew Carrafiello ordered the brief postponement until another court hearing is held Jan. 8 to address concerns about the planned closure by Tenet, which announced earlier this month that it will shut down the nation's first medical school for women because of sustained losses as high as $5 million per month. Tenet's plans are being challenged in court by the Association to Save MCP, a group seeking a permanent injunction to halt the closure. The group, which includes community residents, hospital employees and physicians, has received support from several powerful politicians, including Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who addressed opponents of the closure at a rally yesterday outside Tenet's offices in downtown Philadelphia. Margaret Shiver, a Tenet spokeswoman, said the company "just couldn't afford to sustain these losses any longer." -- by Michael Romano
Judge slows Tenet's closing of Philly hospital
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