Mercy Hospital is modifying patient services in preparation for a possible strike on Friday.
As of Wednesday, ambulances will be diverted from Mercy Hospital and Mercy Ambulatory Care Center. And inpatient elective surgeries at South Buffalo Hospital will be suspended from Wednesday.
The Catholic health system said it made the decisions in conjunction with the state’s health ministry.
The emergency department at Mercy Hospital and the ambulatory care center will always be open to walk-in patients.
“This temporary diversion status informs local emergency medical service providers that the hospital cannot pick up patients brought in by ambulances at this time and that they should take them to other facilities,” JoAnn said. Cavanaugh, spokesperson for Catholic Health.
Emergency medical service providers have the option of bringing a patient to Mercy if a patient is unstable and Mercy is the nearest hospital, or if a patient specifically requests to be taken to Mercy, according to Catholic Health.
Catholic Health continues to negotiate with the Communications Workers of America on six contracts covering 2,500 workers at three facilities.
By prior agreement between the two parties, unionized workers could only go on strike at Mercy. The CWA threatened to pull out at 6 a.m. on Friday if a deal is not reached. The two sides continue to negotiate.