KINDER — The Allen Parish Hospital is closing its emergency room.
Hospital administrators announced Wednesday that the hospital will no longer provide emergency services effective March 1.
Cuts to health care, loss in revenues and lack of patients are forcing the hospital to close its emergency room, according to Hospital Administrator Dr. Patrick Robinson, who has only been on the job for six weeks.
"We looked at the numbers and there was just no other way around it," Robinson said. "We have been losing over $200,000 a month."
The hospital will continue to provide acute, recovery and outpatient services at its 49-bed facility in Kinder.
Kinder Mayor Estes LeDoux said the emergency room has been an "asset" to the town and surrounding area for several years.
"It will be a tremendous loss to the town of Kinder and the surrounding areas because of the emergency care they provided," LeDoux said. "We are hoping that they will be able to have an alternative because we need to have something in case of an emergency."
Robinson said the closure of the emergency room could result in future layoffs, though no numbers were available Wednesday. The hospital currently has 167 employees, according to Administrative Assistant Tennille Meaux.
Officials hope to open a local after-hours urgent care clinic in the near future to take care of the majority of the cases which previously came into the emergency room.
"As the hospital gets more stable we will try to increase our services," he said. "But in order to reopen, we need more primary (care) patients."
Residents needing emergency treatment after March 1 should call 911. The ambulance will determine the nearest emergency facility, Robinson said.
Emergency services will also be available at hospitals in Oakdale, DeQuincy, Jennings and Eunice.
The hospital last closed it's emergency room in 1996 after state budget cuts. It reopened in 2008.