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November 2, 2017

City requests aid for Calais hospital

The Calais City Council will send a letter to Maine's congressional delegation requesting financial support for Calais Regional Hospital.

The Quoddy Tides reported the letter will also be sent to the Veterans Administration, the administrative offices of Pleasant Point and Indian Township and Gov. Paul LePage. The state, the Veterans Administration and the Passamaquoddy Tribe have outstanding balances owed to the hospital.

In signing the letter and expressing support for the hospital, Councilor Scott Geel expressed reservations. "I think the current management, the board of directors, has waited too long for our input and our support," Geel said.

Geel said the hospital has not demonstrated what it is doing to become more financially viable except to cut services.

City Manager Jim Porter said the hospital board has requested to meet with the council to share the hospital's future business plans.

In September, The Quoddy Tides reported that a standing-room-only crowd appeared at a forum to discuss Calais Regional Hospital's decision to close its obstetrics unit and about management of the hospital by the for-profit business Quorum Health, which is based in Brentwood, Tenn. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2016, Calais Regional reported a loss of $1.3 million.

Due to low patient volume, Calais Regional closed its obstetric unit in August.

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