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Bankrupt hospital serving Hispanic immigrants closing

Los Angeles, AP - A financially troubled hospital that served as a principal care destination for Hispanic immigrants must now close its doors and it has many concerned the closure will overwhelm resources in the city's remaining emergency rooms.

A federal bankruptcy judge Friday ordered the Elastar Community Hospital in East Los Angeles to shut down. The 80-year-old hospital has racked up more than $10 million in debt and it couldn't afford to pay its roughly 400 workers.

The hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last fall, but it didn't work. It has since been placed under Chapter 7 protection, which allows for a court-appointed trustee to begin liquidating its assets.

Elastar is the third hospital with an emergency room to close in the county this year.

"We cannot stand any more closures in an emergency system capacity in Los Angeles - this system is on the brink of absolute chaos," said Jim Lott, the executive vice president of the Hospital Assn. of Southern California.

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