California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital Construction News
San Francisco and Palmdale officials recently took actions related to proposed hospital construction projects. Summaries appear below.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday announced the creation of a 26-member task force that will recommend whether San Francisco General Hospital should rebuild at its current location or move into a shared hospital complex with the University of California-San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The panel -- comprised of city officials, UCSF administrators and various labor, business, philanthropic and community leaders -- will recommend a site within three months. The city has until 2013 to rebuild the hospital to comply with state seismic safety requirements.
For the hospital to be rebuilt, San Francisco residents must approve by two-thirds majority a general obligation bond to finance construction. Newsom "hopes to generate enough support" by "bringing together business, labor and other interests to back the proposal," the Chronicle reports (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/14).
Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford on Thursday said Antelope Valley Hospital officials' bond proposal for a new hospital in Palmdale was unlikely to win voter approval, following news that AVH might oppose the construction of a private hospital planned in the city, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
AVH officials on Thursday said no decision had been made on pursuing eminent domain action against Pennsylvania-based Universal Health Systems, the operator of Lancaster Community Hospital, which plans to open a hospital in Palmdale in 18 months.
AVH is gauging support for a bond measure to finance renovation of its Lancaster hospital, as well as construction of a new hospital in Palmdale. AVH officials "have expressed fear the new private hospital would draw off patients with insurance coverage," the Daily News reports.
"Why would anybody approve a bond for this type of action?" Ledford said, adding, "What we're seeing is protection of their market."
AVH spokesperson Jackie Weder said the hospital "wants to see that the community gets what they deserve and what they need: more emergency and critical care beds" (Skeen, Los Angeles Daily News, 5/14).