TUNKHANNOCK TOWNSHIP, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Patients will soon have to find an alternative when it comes to an emergency or surgical procedures as Tyler Memorial Hospital will be transitioning to an urgent care.
Moving forward, its focus will be non-life threatening injuries and services.
The hospital, located just off Route 6 outside of Tunkhannock, has seen its own decrease over the past four years.
“I was there recently, and I noticed it was pretty empty. So hopefully, maybe, they can downsize the hospital itself,” said Michelle Parr, Tunkhannock resident.
In this part of Wyoming County, Parr and many others have seen the hospital try and adapt to patient needs for decades.
Come this October, Commonwealth Health will go from a hospital to an urgent care and outpatient service center, eliminating its emergency department.
Commonwealth Health say it will offer, “…treatment for minor illnesses and non-life-threatening injuries. It will also offer physicals, immunizations and outpatient services such as diagnostic imaging and lab draws. Commonwealth Health Emergency Medical Services (CHEMS) will continue to station an ambulance on site for timely response to emergencies and facilitating any needed transfers…”
“Now they’re taking away more things. I was really surprised that with the urgent care with the big manufacturing companies that we have, plus the gas wells, you know, there a lot of high risk jobs around here,” said Parr.
In April, hospital staff went on strike for unfair labor practices after contracts ended in February.
80 union workers demanded better pay, healthcare and safety for employees.
“I remember the days when it was a bustling community hospital, and I am sad to see that end, but I understand the cost efficiency,” said Dianne Shelly, Tunkhannock resident.
While patients will have to travel to Montrose, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton or even Towanda for emergencies or surgeries, Shelly says right now with the lack of services most patients get transferred.
“It was nice to know it was there, and that you could do your simple surgeries there and you didn’t have to travel. But in this day and age, you get air-lifted anyways.”
It’s not known how many hospital staff will be affected. Commonwealth health says they plan to retain as many employees as they can. Eyewitness News reached out to the nurses union for comment, but have not heard back.
Commonwealth Health released the following statement Monday.