Protest over planned closing of Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park

MELROSE PARK, Ill. — Plans to close a west suburban hospital sparked a protest outside the medical complex Monday.

Demonstrators marched and spoke out against the move to shut down Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park.

Pipeline Health of California bought Westlake, Weiss Hospital in Chicago and West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park last year.

The health care group promised to keep all three open, but after the sale, Pipeline said it would close Westlake in the second quarter of this year.

Residents, community leaders and local politicians said they feel deceived. They said Pipeline’s decision smacks of discrimination because its patients are poor and are minorities.

Pipeline officials said Westlake has been losing money at a faster pace than the company projected. They said closing Westlake will help the company save Weiss and West Suburban hospitals.

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