MetroWest Medical Center will move its outpatient oncology services to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester

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MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham advised the state on Wednesday of plans to close outpatient medical oncology and radiation oncology and sleep medicine inpatient services at the hospital and transfer them to St. Vincent of Worcester.

“As we focus more on behavioral health, cardiovascular services, surgical services, emergency services and women’s health, we have made the decision to close outpatient medical oncology and radiation oncology, as well as that sleep medicine services at MetroWest Medical Center,” Ava Collins, CEO of MetroWest Medical Center wrote in a letter to staff Wednesday. “All current patients in these programs will have the option of continuing their care at our partner hospital, St. Vincent’s Hospital, where they will have access to a wider range of specialist services.”

Matt Clyburn, a spokesperson for the hospitals, said in a statement that they would continue to provide cancer screening, all imaging services and cancer-related surgery to MetroWest.

Meanwhile, he said hospitals “will ensure a seamless transition of care for all current patients.”

“We are very proud of the exceptional care our team has provided to patients in these programs over the years,” said Clyburn. “Our Human Resources team will work with each eligible employee to help them find an alternate position within the organization.”

He declined to comment further when asked how many jobs and patients were at stake.

The notification triggers a 120-day review by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, as MWMC’s services consist of “essential services.”

This process “provides a mechanism for the DPH to review a proposal to close or reduce services and ensure that measures have been put in place to minimize the impact on the community and address concerns raised at the attention of the DPH. However, DPH cannot legally compel a hospital to keep a ward open,” according to DPH’s website.

The process includes a public hearing at least 60 days before the date of the proposed closure.

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