Rev. Jesse Jackson is leading a group of community leaders in calling for an infusion of $7 million from the Quinn administration to keep Roseland Community Hospital running without dramatic cuts to patient care.
The Far South Side safety net hospital has a backlog of about $8 million in outstanding bills older than 90 days that it must pay, or else it will have to significantly reduce services. The hospital hasn’t been able to generate enough cash flow to pay its expenses because it serves a primarily poor population that often doesn’t have any health coverage, including Medicaid, hospital executives say.
But cutting health care services will only exacerbate a desperate situation for a community devastated by unemployment, housing foreclosures and street violence, said Rev. Jackson, president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, scheduled a press conference at the 110-bed hospital.
“There is a health care desert in the Roseland, Englewood and South Chicago area,” he said in an interview. By cutting already-scarce services, “you’re compounding the effects of poverty.”
Rev. Jackson will be joined members of the Service Employees International Union, which represents workers at the hospitals, and by members of the facility’s medical staff and administration, according to Rainbow PUSH, a Chicago-based advocacy group.
The governor’s office “is where it starts,” Rev. Jackson said, calling health care a “vital service” to a struggling community.
“The state has an obligation to bail them out, to bail the people out,” he said. Read More.