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PREPA Cuts Power To Santa Rosa Hospital After It Fails To Pay Its Bill

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SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico’s power company on Thursday cut off electricity to a hospital over nearly $4 million in unpaid bills, part of a stepped-up effort by the heavily indebted agency to collect money amid the island’s economic crisis.

The Electric Power Authority said it waited for surgeries to end before pulling the plug at the Santa Rosa Hospital in the southern coastal town of Guayama.

The hospital initially said it could operate temporarily using generators, then announced late Thursday on its Facebook page that a judge had ruled in favour of the hospital and that it expected power to be restored. It was unclear when that might happen.

The small hospital is privately owned, and there are other larger hospitals in its region.

The power company is $9 billion in debt and has been pursuing people and businesses that owe it money, joining other government agencies in a similar crackdown.

Puerto Rico is buried in $70 billion of public debt and seeking a restructuring mechanism from the U.S. Congress. The governor announced last year that the amount is unpayable.



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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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