Reporting Dave Padilla
SAN PABLO (KCBS)— Doctors Medical Center San Pablo is depending on a parcel tax to survive from closing. Contra Costa County has loaned the struggling medical center $10 million and Kaiser Permanente has contributed well-over $15 million, yet the facility with the largest emergency department in the area still faces an annual deficit of $18 million dollars.
KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:
The hospital that serves the uninsured and under-insured declared bankruptcy in 2006 came out of it in 2008, but it remains on rocky financial ground.
Hospital board chair and West County Supervisor John Gioia said the only thing that may save this hospital from closing next year is the proposed parcel tax.
“The parcel tax is a key part of the strategy to save Doctors Hospital and without it the hospital will close,” he said. Gioia went on to explain that if the hospital and E.R. close, “Everybody in West County is going to face longer waiting times to get treated in the event of an emergency.”
Gioia said Kaiser Richmond would become overcrowded and patients may be diverted to Alta Bates in Berkeley or Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez.
State senator Loni Hancock has a measure awaiting the governor’s signature that would give the medical facility the authority it needs to borrow money. It may need to borrow as much as $20 million.
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