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Hammond mayor says hospital downsizing part of nationwide problem

Franciscan Health NWI-Inside Indiana Business

Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. says he was stunned by Franciscan Health's decision last year to downsize the former St. Margaret Hospital but says it's a symptom of a nationwide problem.

"When I drive around the state and I see all the Franciscan hospitals getting built, it makes me want to punch a hole in the window of my car. I drive down 65, and I see a 10-story, brand new Franciscan Hospital going up. And I drive to downtown in our own city, and I see the same group tearing down our hospital. It makes me crazy," McDermott said during last week's Mayor's Night Out event.

But McDermott — who's also running for U.S. Senate — said it's a problem that has to be fixed from Washington, D.C.

"The hospitals are moving for economic reasons. They're not moving because they don't like Hammond. They're moving because they'd rather go where people have money and where people have insurance, private insurance preferably," McDermott said.