KCBS_740 BERKELEY (KCBS) — Some Berkeley city leaders are expressing concern and outrage over plans to close Alta Bates Summit Hospital’s emergency department and acute care facility as early as 2018.

The hospital’s owner, Sutter Health cites a main reason for the consolidation being the Berkeley campus doesn’t meet standards of a state law requiring all California hospitals be seismically upgraded by 2030, but city councilman Kriss Worthington isn’t buying it.

“If everybody else can do seismic upgrades, they could too,” Worthington told KCBS.

The move would leave Berkeley with no emergency medical services, and Worthington said it would impact residents in cities in the surrounding area.

“How many lives are going to be lost because of this corporate decision that seems to be based more on how can I centralize, or sort of maximize the corporate compensation for the executives, rather than what’s gonna provide the highest quality of care and save lives,” Worthington said.

Sutter Health says the services will be consolidated at the Summit campus in Oakland.

The city council has directed the community health commission to look at alternatives to, and consequences of such a closure.

The commission plans to appoint a committee at its meeting Thursday night.



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