Northern Westchester Hospital (NWH) is closing its doors in the US due to the rising costs of caring for patients and staff, it has been reported.

The hospital, which is the second largest in the country, said it would be closing in the first half of 2019, citing the “economic challenges of this time of increased health care cost pressure” in the United States.

According to the New York Times, the hospital is the largest in New York state and has treated over 1.5 million people.

Its closing comes as health insurance premiums have risen by more than $2,000 per person in the last few months, while hospitals have cut back on staffing.

“We’re now looking at the cost of running a hospital to be as high as the cost for a private-sector hospital, and we’re going to need to take a very serious look at our future business models and what that means,” said Peter Eriksson, president of the Northwest New York Hospital Association, according to the Times.

The closure of the hospital comes amid an ongoing financial crisis for hospitals, with an average annual loss of more than US$500 million.

In June, US healthcare spending in the region surpassed $1 trillion, with the region’s hospitals struggling to stay afloat amid rising costs and increasing competition from hospitals in other parts of the country.

Meanwhile, the number of hospital beds nationwide is projected to fall for the first time in two years as hospitals struggle to cope with the rise in costs.