A hospital in Affoltern am Albis, just over the cantonal border with Zurich in an area known as the Knonaueramt, is under threat of closure, with all that this means for staff who work there and patients who are treated there. One solution could be greater cooperation with other hospitals in Zurich and the Zug Cantonal Hospital in Baar.
It is actually the locals in the 14 municipalities of this Knonaueramt region who are to determine the future of this hospital in Affoltern am Albis, though as its director, Michael Buik, said, the decision taken on the 19 May, the day of the referendum, does not definitely mean it will have to close. It could continue to function under a new board, for example.
What is clear is that the hospital cannot function alone. Indeed, it already enjoys cooperation with the Triemli hospital in Zurich, one in Waid to the north of Wipkingen and, as mentioned, with the Zug Cantonal Hospital in Baar (KSZ) and last year it signed a performance agreement with them for further cooperation.
As Martin Winistörfer, the director of the KSZ, explained, since 2012 the hospital in Affoltern has been acting as a competence centre for palliative care for patients from Zug and, since the beginning of this year, specialist doctors from Affoltern have been working some days in Baar, too.
The director further mentioned that, from 2020 onwards, patients requiring knee and hip replacements would no longer be treated in Affoltern, but at the afore-mentioned hospitals in Zurich and Baar instead, though out-patient pre-and post-operative care could still be provided there.
It is known locals from the Knonaueramt appreciate very much the services of the KSZ, with 430 of them having been treated as in-patients there in 2018, among these 70 mothers and their new-born babies.
This article is based on one by Harry Ziegler