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Pascack Valley Hospital Closer To Reopening

Pascack Valley Hospital Building - Westwood, NJ - Nov 30, 2011 (credit: Sean Adams / WCBS 880)

Pascack Valley Hospital Building – Westwood, NJ – Nov 30, 2011 (credit: Sean Adams / WCBS 880)

CBS New York (con't)

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WESTWOOD, NJ (WCBS 880) - The reopening of a North Jersey hospital is one step closer to reality.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story

The state health planning board has approved Hackensack University Medical Center‘s plan to reopen the old Pascack Valley Hospital as a 128-bed facility. The health commissioner has 120 days to decide.

The hospital flatlined in 2007.

“The reality is that patients don’t have access to the hospital beds. There’s been hospital closures in Paterson and Passaic over the last three years as well as Pascack Valley Hospital, which have decreased the number of available hospital beds in the Bergen-Passaic region,” said Westwood mayor John Birkner.

Birkner calls this latest news validation.

The four year battle is nearly over.

The mayor says this corner of Bergen County is underserved. He told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams that, right now, residents “are being forced to travel greater distances through Bergen County roadways and incurring longer waits when they do go receive treatments or services.”

But those other hospitals – The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood – claim they do adequately serve the region.

They say that reopening Pascack Valley will hurt their finances and could force layoffs.

Gov. Chris Christie says he supports the resurrection of Pascack Valley. It was a campaign pledge.

Do you think that Pascack Valley Hospital should reopen? Sound off in the comments section below!