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Framingham residents blast healthcare giant’s plan to close MetroWest Cancer Center – Boston News, Weather, Sports

FRAMINGHAM, MASS. (WHDH) – Framingham residents and medical professionals are blasting an out-of-state healthcare giant’s plan to close the city’s only outpatient oncology center, forcing patients to travel to Boston or Worcester for chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

Metrowest Medical Center’s parent company, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, said they plan to stop cancer treatment services at Framingham Union Hospital later this year. At a public hearing Wednesday, patients, doctors and local leaders protested the decision, saying it would harm people who need treatment — particularly lower-income patients.

“What they need is hope, I cannot give them hope unless I have the tools,” said Dr. Ana Epsila Navarro. “You know what the hope is in our community? The cancer center.”

“Frankly, they saved my life,” said patient Ellen Goldsmith. “The infusion center saved my life.”

At the hearing, Tenet’s Massachusetts CEO said the company was trying to partner with Tufts Medicine to bring oncology services to Metrowest. In a letter informing the state of its plan to shut the center, a Tenet spokesperson said the company has seen fewer infusion and radiation patients since the start of the pandemic.

“Due to declining demand, the Medical Center does not anticipate a significant impact from the discontinuation of oncology infusion and radiation oncology services in Framingham,” the letter states.

But Katie Murphy, head of the state’s nurses union, said the pandemic created delays in cancer diagnosis and care, and that services are still needed.

“We know that oncology needs are increasing everywhere, so that I can’t see that oncology care is going to decrease in such a populous part of the state,” Murphy said.

(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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