Closing Mercy Hospital will only make Chicago’s racial health care gap worse
The announced closing of Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, is beyond comprehension.
Mercy is a community hospital that sees more the 50,000 patients a year and employs more than 1,700 people. Over 80% of the population it serves is economically challenged, underserved, underprivileged and uninsured.
Within the Mercy service area is 62% of Chicago’s African American population and 37% of the Hispanic population. With the closing of Mercy in 2021, access to medical and mental health services will be catastrophically reduced at a time when the pandemic has demonstrated that Black and Brown communities are health care deserts.
I do not believe we can stand by helplessly and watch another historic hospital close, while we say that we must close the racial health care gap that already exists. Rev. Michael L. Pfleger, Faith Community of St. Sabina