By : EVA LLORENS
The San Juan Bautista Medical Center, which operates the 190-bed San Juan Bautista Hospital in Caguas, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The petition was filed Friday but made public Monday after the hospital filed an urgent motion asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to issue an automatic stay against the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa), whose workers tried to cut off electricity to the San Juan Bautista School of Medicine, threatening the possibility of a reorganization.
The San Juan Bautista Hospital is not only one of the few teaching hospitals left in central Puerto Rico, but it was also part of the government’s plan to start a medicalization program for drug addicts. The hospital has 150 beds for patients with physical ailments and 40 beds for mental-health patients.
The hospital opted to file for bankruptcy at a board meeting on March 15. The document was signed by Board Director Lymaris Colón.
According to the document filed in court, the hospital owes $21.1 million to Prepa, its largest creditor.
It also owes $6 million in taxes, $1.7 million to the Labor Department, $1 million to the State Insurance Fund, $994,000 to Borschow Hospital, $867,734 to the Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority, $471,000 to Continental Casualty and thousands of dollars to other medical facilities and individuals.
A press release sent out by the hospital states that the reorganization will help the entity “protect the educational workshops and clinical practices of some 259 students at the medical school and some 1,675 healthcare students as well as some 377 jobs.”
Health Secretary Lorenzo González was unavailable for comment.