Hospital oversight board Ok’s shutdown of Illinois hospital

CHICAGO (AP) — The regulatory agency governing Illinois’ hospitals has given the owners of a suburban Chicago hospital permission to shut it down.

Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park has been at the center of a controversy. The city has been in court trying to keep the hospital open, contending closing it would be a threat to public health.

On Tuesday, Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted unanimously to approve an application by Los Angeles-based Pipeline Health to shut down the 230-bed hospital.

Pipeline officials have said the hospital is losing about $2 million a month, making its existence unsustainable. They said Pipeline should not be forced to keep the hospital open, especially when there aren’t enough patients to support it.

Melrose Park’s attorney, Ari Scharg, said it’s possible the village could ask the courts to review the legality of the board’s decision.

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