‘California Report’ Series Examines Hospital Earthquake Preparedness
KQED's "The California Report" in a two-part series this week as part of the program's 1906 earthquake centennial coverage examined hospital preparations to meet seismic safety standards (Musiker, "The California Report," KQED, 4/10).
The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development in 2001 reported that 975 of the state's 2,507 hospitals could collapse during a major earthquake. Under state law, hospitals must retrofit or replace at-risk buildings by 2008 to meet seismic safety standards, but many hospitals have qualified for a five-year extension.
Some hospitals have closed because they cannot afford to comply with the mandate, while other hospitals are trying to raise funds through voter-approved bond measures (California Healthline, 4/6). However, previous cost estimates of the seismic retrofit of California hospitals -- about $50 billion -- did not take into account interest or other financing expenses, which could double the cost of retrofits (California Healthline, 4/10).
The first segment in the series examined preparations at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, one of several hospitals in the state opting to construct new buildings despite funding concerns. The segment includes comments from:
- Jan Emerson, vice president of the California Hospital Association;
- Assembly Budget Committee Chair John Laird (D-Santa Cruz);
- Bernadette Smith, president of Seton; and
- A nurse at Seton (Musiker, "The California Report," KQED, 4/10).
- Susan Near, chief administrator at Indian Valley Hospital in Greenville;
- Kathy Yarbrough, director of the Rural Health Design Consortium;
- Greenville-area residents; and
- Indian Valley patients and their family members (Musiker, "The California Report," KQED, 4/11).