Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Saving San Leandro Hospital 3: Focus Shifts to Board of Supervisors

Last night, the Eden Township Healthcare District board cast a non-binding vote in opposition to the proposal by Alameda County Medical Center and Sutter to relocate acute rehabilitation care from Fairmont Hospital to San Leandro Hospital and end emergency room service at San Leandro Hospital.

This occurred after Sutter announced earlier in the day that it was assigning its purchase rights under its contract with the Eden Township Healthcare District to operate San Leandro Hospital to the Alameda County Medical Center. Sutter also stated it would be exercising its right to give 90 days notice of termination of operation of service at San Leandro Hospital within the next 30 days.

To maintain emergency care at San Leandro Hospital it is critical that (a) the Eden Township District carefully review the offer from Prime Healthcare to takeover operations at San Leandro Hospital and (b) the Alameda County Board of Supervisors direct the Alameda County Medical Center rescind its offer to Sutter.

Fairmont Hospital should be retrofitted, not relocated to San Leandro Hospital. For an analysis of Prime Healthcare's offer, see the report by the Camden Group.

What message should we convey to the Board of Supervisors? Carole Rogers, a member of the Eden Township Healthcare District board, wrote the following today on the Yahoo Discussion Group Save San Leandro Hospital:

1. We (the Board members) have just been informed that Sutter Health believes it has the legal right to bypass the District and assign their lease to the County. Disputes call for binding arbitration, which is costly and time consuming. The District Directors have gone on record that they are against this transition.

2. PrimeHealth Care Inc. is a viable option and they have promised to keep San Leandro Hospital open as an acute care facility with a 24/7 Emergency Room. The District is in negotiations with PrimeHealth; and financed a Due Diligence report at a cost of $35,000. (CamdenGroup, attached)

3. Senator Corbett is working on obtaining a reprieve/postponmen t for Fairmont Hospital from its legal mandate to rebuild. Senator Corbett has stated on several occasions that the State Legislature is not going to shut down hundreds of hospitals in this state because they cannot afford to bring their buildings up to seismic codes - especially in this economic climate.

4. PrimeHealth has agreed to look at the feasibility of opening acute rehabilitation beds on the fourth floor of San Leandro Hospital (now vacant.) We are hoping to stipulate this in our negotiations for their proposal to lease/acquire San Leandro Hospital.
This is the link to their most current proposal: http://www.ethd. org/SitePDFs/ Prime%20Healthca re%20Proposal% 20May%2029, %202009.pdf

5. If San Leandro Hospital closes, most all of the private doctors who have offices near the hospital will move out of the community. Doctors want their offices near the hospital.

6. 80% of all SLH emergency room visits are "Urgent" not "Emergency." This statistic is true for any hospital, not just SLH.

7. 70% of SLH inpatients live in the Eden Township District. There will not be enough acute care beds or emergency room beds to assimilate between the local hospitals should SLH close.

8. Closing San Leandro Hospital Emergency Department will cost lives. Minutes count, and San Leandro residents have experienced this. The SL City Manager (Steve Hollister) asked the County Fire Chief in my presence on day, if he had a heart attack (he lives near the hospital) - would it make a difference if he were taken to San Leandro or Eden Emergency. You know the answer - (seconds count in a heart attack.)

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