Dayton joins chorus of concern over Mayo Clinic cuts

Gov. Mark Dayton is joining state and local officials expressing concern about Mayo Clinic’s plan to cut services at its Albert Lea hospital.

The massive Rochester-based health care system announced its plan in June to axe inpatient services like birthing and intensive care from its Albert Lea facility. Those services will be moved to Austin, a 30-minute drive away. The Albert Lea campus will still have an emergency room.

Dayton said Monday he’s concerned about those reductions and that Mayo should have discussed its plan with area residents sooner. Hospital officials say the changes are necessary due to financial losses and a steep decline in long-term hospital stays.

On the heels of criticism, Mayo Clinic announced more than $3 million in planned improvements to its Albert Lea location on Monday.