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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

MN health department to take input on proposed Bethesda hospital replacement

Mn Health Department To Take Input On Proposed Bethesda Hospital Replacement

The Minnesota Department of Health is planning a virtual meeting on Thursday, June 9, to take community input on a proposal to replace Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul with a 144-bed mental health facility.

M Health Fairview and Acadia Health Care announced a partnership last year that will bring a new hospital to the current Bethesda site. Fairview Health Services will operate the mental health hospital.

With moments to go into its regular session, the Minnesota Legislature approved the state’s moratorium on new hospital beds to allow for the facility. Governor Tim Walz signed the bill on Thursday.

The exemptions and state law require the Minnesota Department of Health to review the plans and decide if it is in the public interest. The exemption also includes a number of caveats to address concerns that the hospital should be accessible to all types of patients.

The online public meeting will begin on June 9 at 6 pm and state officials are expected to learn:

  • Whether a hospital is needed and the impact it will have on the community.
  • How will low-income and non-paying patients get services compared to other facilities nearby.
  • The new facility will have an impact on existing hospitals and the health care workforce.

Fairview officials have said the special mental health facility will be open to all, regardless of their ability to pay. He has acknowledged that patients with other health problems who require critical care may need to be treated in other hospitals, which have emergency rooms and intensive care units.

Details about the virtual meeting are available on the state health department’s website or the meeting can be attended by calling 1-855-282-6330. The department’s website includes more details of the plans as well as a way to provide written input.

The exemptions approved by the legislature to allow the hospital were included in a larger bill with nearly $93 million in funding to meet mental health needs across the state.

Advocates called it “a good start” but noted that more is needed to address them in the face of the ongoing mental health crisis.

World Nation News Desk
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