Judge Orders North Adams Hospital To Keep Emergency Room Open

Updated at 11:40 p.m.

Much of North Adams Regional Hospital is scheduled to close down Friday. But the emergency room and some other services appear to have been spared – at least for now.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office says it won a temporary injunction Thursday in state court, preventing the hospital’s emergency room and related services from closing – at least until a hearing next Thursday.

Long-term, a spokesperson for Berkshire Medical Center in nearby Pittsfield says the hospital will move toward taking over the North Adams ER, and has filed paperwork with the state to do so. It is also working with the family and OB/GYN practices there.

In the short-term, the ER will be operated by the same financially-strapped company that abruptly announced its closure earlier this week: Northern Berkshire Healthcare.

In a statement, the company said it will comply with the court order. But – at this stage in the process – it warns there is no guarantee it will have adequate staff or supplies. And it says there is now a risk it will run out of money with patients still inside the hospital.