SALEM, Mass. (AP) — Partners HealthCare plans to stop performing heart surgeries at its Salem Hospital and instead send those patients to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Partners says the roughly 160 patients who get open-heart surgery at North Shore Medical Center in Salem each year are not enough to justify keeping the unit open, and the low number of patients drives up costs when compared to MGH.

READ MORE: Pedestrian Seriously Injured In Hit-And-Run Crash In Somerville

Hospital officials have notified the Massachusetts Department of Public Health of the decision. A public hearing will be scheduled.

READ MORE: Shot Of Hope: Worcester Pharmacist Proud To 'Restore A Sense Of Normalcy'

All other cardiac services, including angioplasty and general cardiology, will remain in Salem.

Salem Hospital is scheduled to begin a $230 million expansion that includes the closing of Union Hospital in Lynn.

MORE NEWS: Freight Train Engineer Shot With Pellet Gun In Wareham

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.