Hospital Closes Inpatient Behavioral Unit

Wednesday, September 12th 2007, 8:00 am
By: News On 6

St. John Medical Center in Tulsa is closing down its in-patient psychiatric facility. In a statement released to the News On 6, St. John officials say it will discontinue inpatient behavioral health services sometime in the near future. In the statement, St. John Medical Center officials blame a nationwide scarcity of psychiatrists, saying they cannot recruit enough doctors to sustain high-quality treatment.

Local experts say other facilities like Tulsa Center for Behavioral Health will have to pick up the slack.

"We do believe that other mental health providers have the capacity over time to expand to absorb some of that need. But that will take time," says Michael Brose with the Tulsa Mental Health Association.

St. John says their outpatient care will not be affected. St. John Medical Center says they will help patients find other places to receive care.