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Harrisburg abortion clinic ordered to suspend services after more health violations were found

The state Department of Health ordered Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center in Harrisburg to suspend services to sufferers on the shut of enterprise on Tuesday.

This determination got here after an unannounced inspection on Monday found further deficiencies and violations past ones found in an earlier inspection in February.

“The department concluded that it was no longer safe for the facility to continue providing medical services to patients,” stated Dr. Karen Murphy, state health secretary, in a information launch issued late Wednesday afternoon. “Therefore, I have ordered the facility to suspend all services until such time that it can demonstrate it is safe for women to receive care.”

On Wednesday, an answering machine on the clinic said that the workplace is closed right now. A lady who answered the clinic’s telephone on Tuesday declined remark. 

A February inspection on the clinic recognized a number of deficiencies, together with record-keeping violations and failing to have a registered nurse on website. While Monday’s go to found that a few of the points have been corrected, reminiscent of hiring a registered nurse, the inspection additionally found further violations, together with expired sterilization and medical provides.

“Protecting the health and safety of Pennsylvanians is paramount,” Secretary Murphy stated. “If you have been a patient of Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center and have questions or concerns about your health, you should speak with a health care provider. You can also contact the department at 1-877-PA-HEALTH for more information.”

On Monday, three Republican senators despatched a letter to Murphy asking why the division had allowed the clinic to stay open whereas correcting the deficiencies  in mild of the February inspection findings that they found to be “obviously deeply troubling.”

They additionally identified that the clinic has been found to have health violations 4 occasions in six years; a few of them for the repeat deficiencies.

In their letter, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati of Jefferson County and Sens. John DiSanto of Dauphin County and Bob Mensch of Montgomery County cited a 2011 regulation that directs the health division to license and examine abortion clinics in the identical method as different ambulatory surgical amenities. They stated the intent of that regulation as to guarantee abortion clinics were retaining their sufferers protected.

“Hillcrest is clearly failing to live up this standard,” the letter states.

That letter dated on Monday, nevertheless, wasn’t what triggered the division’s order to the clinic to suspend services, stated health division spokesman April Hutcheson. She stated Monday’s unannounced go to was within the works prior to the division receiving it.

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