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Medical Procedures

On Maryland's Eastern Shore, local hospital is downsized — and residents are outraged at UMMS

On Maryland's Eastern Shore, local hospital is downsized — and residents are outraged at UMMS

The pain was intense as Kirk Wade hurried to the Shore Medical Center here, where staff told him he might need emergency surgery for a possible intestinal tear.

But there was a problem: The rural hospital had gone through so much downsizing since joining the University of Maryland Medical System there was no surgeon available that day last summer. The closest hospital with a surgeon was more than an hour away in Easton.

And there was another problem: The hospital’s ambulance service wouldn't be available to take him there for hours.

“I could have ended up dead,” said Wade, 74, a retired tax lawyer. “If you live in Chestertown and have a medical emergency that requires...

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