IRVING With the surprise announcement of Lake Shore Hospital's planned closure for Jan. 31, many questions have been raised by the public.
Rumors have circulated about the hospital and the public is watching the situation closely as 460 jobs and close access to emergency and health care are at risk.
Two concerns that have been brought to the OBSERVER's attention involve disappearance of the signs announcing the hospital's closure outside the facility and also what will happen to the TLC primary care clinics in Forestville, Cassadaga, Gowanda and Conewango.
Divisional Director of TLC Health Network Scott Butler addressed these issues in a recent phone interview.
Butler explained the signs announcing the facility's closure on Jan. 31 were taken down due to a timing error.
"It was a simple error. Part of the closure plan that the hospital submitted to the department of health asks how we intend to inform the public. We said we were willing to put up signs, however, we jumped the gun a little bit because we did not know that they have to approve the entire plan before we started putting the signs up," he explained. "It was just a timing error."
Butler explained if the closure plan is approved by the department of health, then the signs will be put back up outside the hospital.
Butler also addressed the concern about the primary care clinics.
He said the clinics remain under TLC despite the split between Lake Shore and Brooks hospitals at the end of October.
He said whether this will be the case after a possible sale is up to the buyer.
"It is up to any potential buyer to express interests in the clinics or just in the hospital," he explained, adding the board has considered the possibility.
Butler said the board is considering options if the clinics are not included in a sale.
"We will explore all options if it happens," he explained. "Our main goal is to try to preserve as many health care offerings as we are able to."
In addition to the primary care clinics Lake Shore also offers emergency care, behavioral health, nursing home care, ambulatory surgery, coronary care and laboratory services.
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