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Beaumont Army Medical Center closes its pediatric unit

By Matt Dougherty
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:18:03 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 01:03:59 PM CST

Beaumont Army Medical Center has closed its pediatric care unit due to financial reasons. Officials say families will still receive the same care.

EL PASO, Texas -

Beaumont Army Medical Center's pediatric unit closed its doors Monday.
The unit's last two patients were babies brought from the neonatal care unit which is overflowing with newborns, said Col. Michael Heimall, Beaumont Army Medical Center's commander.

Heimall said continuing to operate the pediatric unit in its current state would not make financial sense.

The unit costs $500,000 a year to operate and only brings in the equivalent of $100,000, if it were to operate in the private sector, Heimall said.

The hospital will continue to treat child-patients from military families ages 0-17, they will just be attended to in different parts of the hospital.

The pediatric unit is only full 17 percent of the year, which does not allow for staff members to exercise their skills on a frequent basis, Heimall said. He said there is only an average of two patients a day in the unit.

WBAMC's new hospital, which will have a pediatric care unit with six beds, will be complete in 2017 at a cost of $1 billion, Heimall said.

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