Framingham residents are blasting healthcare giant’s plan to close MetroWest Cancer Center – Boston News, Weather, Sports

FRAMINGHAM, MASS. (WHDH) — Framingham residents and medical professionals are blasting an extrastate healthcare giant’s plan to shut down the city’s only outpatient oncology center, forcing patients to travel to Boston or Worcester for chemotherapy or radiation.

Metrowest Medical Center’s parent company, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, said they plan to discontinue cancer care services at Framingham Union Hospital later this year. At a public hearing on Wednesday, patients, doctors and local leaders protested the decision, saying it would harm people who need treatment – particularly those on lower incomes.

“What they need is hope, I can’t give them hope if I don’t have the tools,” said Dr. Ana Epsila Navarro. “Do you know what the hope is in our church? The Cancer Center.”

“Honestly, they saved my life,” said patient Ellen Goldsmith. “The infusion center saved my life.”

At the hearing, the chief executive officer of Massachusetts-based Tenet said the company is trying to work with Tufts Medicine to bring oncology services to Metrowest. In a letter informing the state of its plan to close the center, a Tenet spokesman said the company had seen fewer infusion and radiation patients since the pandemic began.

“Due to declining demand, the Medical Center does not anticipate any significant impact from the closure of Framingham’s oncology infusion and radiation oncology services,” the letter said.

But Katie Murphy, head of the state’s nurses’ union, said the pandemic has caused delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment and that services are still needed.

“We know that oncology needs are increasing everywhere, so I don’t see oncology care going down in such a populous part of the state,” Murphy said.

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Nate Jones

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