Sen. Sparks concerned by Mayo decision to consolidate care
ST. PAUL, Minn – Sen. Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin) announced his concern over Mayo Clinic’s decision to consolidate some of its inpatient care services between its Austin and Albert Lea clinics. While he understands the rationale behind consolidating some duplicative care between the two campuses which are 25 miles apart – he’s concerned about what it means for jobs – and for more rural residents who will have to drive much further to seek particular kinds of medical care.
“I am very aware of the shortages of health care professionals across the state, but particularly in rural parts of Minnesota. That being said – the Albert Lea facility is the city’s largest employer – and this decision by Mayo creates a lot of uncertainty for Albert Lea clinic employees. I want to assure residents in both Austin and Albert Lea that I’ll be following this situation closely – because it’s vital that area residents have close access to affordable, high quality health care,” said Sen. Sparks.
According to Mayo Clinic Health Systems both campuses will continue to offer outpatient care including emergency rooms, primary care, specialty care like orthopedics and cardiology, outpatient surgeries and laboratory, radiology and pharmacy. For people who need major surgeries requiring hospitalization, as well as Intensive Care Unit says and childbirth, patients will be required to visit the Austin campus.
Sen. Sparks was recently named to sit on the Senate Select Committee on Health Care Access and Affordability. He says he’s looking forward to using this committee to examine how southern Minnesota can make changes to provide better access to health care and lower costs.