Minnesota Department of Health Call for Input on Bethesda Hospital Replacement

The Minnesota Department of Health will hold a virtual meeting on Thursday, June 9, to get community feedback on a plan to replace Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul with a 144-bed mental health hospital.

Last year, M Health Fairview and Acadia Health Care established a joint venture to build a new hospital on the present Bethesda site. The mental health hospital would be run by Fairview Health Services.

The Minnesota Legislature authorized a waiver to the state’s prohibition on new hospital beds with just minutes left in the regular session to allow the facility to open. The bill was signed into law by Governor Tim Walz on Thursday.

The Minnesota Department of Health is required under the waiver and state law to assess the proposals and determine if they are in the public interest. A number of limitations are included in the waiver to address concerns about the hospital’s accessibility to all sorts of patients.

The specialist mental health institution, according to Fairview authorities, will be available to everyone regardless of their capacity to pay. Patients with various health conditions that require urgent care may need to be treated at other hospitals with emergency departments and intensive care units, they’ve recognized.

Details about the virtual conference may be found on the state Department of Health’s website, or you can call 1-855-282-6330 to attend. More information on the proposals may be found on the department’s website, as well as a mechanism to submit written comments.

The waiver that allowed the facility to open was part of a bigger law that included $93 million in funds to treat mental health issues across the state.

It was described as a “positive start” by advocates, but they stressed that much more is required to address what they described as an ongoing mental health crisis.

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