Health

‘It is a travesty’: Rally planned in support of keeping Tufts Children’s Hospital open

“Tufts Children’s Hospital has been a staple in the community for 100-plus years."

Lane Turner / The Boston Globe
Tufts Children's Hospital Closure

A rally is planned Saturday to push for keeping Tuft’s Children’s Hospital open.

“This is a rally of love and support for our precious children at Tufts and those nurses, doctors, childcare specialists, and staff who take such amazing care of them,” the event description on Facebook says.

The rally is to begin at 10 a.m. by the Teddy Bear statue outside the hospital.

Tufts, citing changing needs, recently announced its plans to close the 41-bed children’s hospital by July 1. The intention is to turn the space into an adult ICU and medical/surgical beds.

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The maneuver has received public backlash, and over 32,000 people had signed an online petition to save the children’s hospital as of Wednesay afternoon.

Boston City Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune says she has the rally on her calendar.

“Tufts Children’s Hospital has been a staple in the community for 100-plus years,” she said in an interview with Boston.com on Wednesday.

In a series of tweets on Monday, Louijeune noted that Tufts provides competition, and is important for immigrant and low-income residents.

She told Boston.com that the hospital’s proximity to Chinatown is key. Without Tufts, the only option for children is Boston Children’s Hospital, she said.

“It is a travesty for families when they are looking for services, that they will not have options,” she said. “It is an ill-advised move.”

When asked if she thinks politicians speaking out could prevent the closure of the hospital, Louijeune said “there’s a role for public pressure” that, together, “elected officials can have on an institution.”

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