Creating Separate Agency to Run Los Angeles County’s Health Department Could Improve Services
Establishing a separate agency to run the financially troubled Los Angeles County Department of Health Services is "not going to solve its immediate fiscal crisis," but it "could well improve health services overall," a Los Angeles Times editorial says. The Board of Supervisors "rightly recognize[s] that the responsibility for keeping hospitals, emergency rooms and clinics open rests with them, even it the bucks appear to stop far short," the editorial says. However, the editorial notes that the department's financial "crisis has prompted some new thinking on how best to manage the increasingly complex system with ever-scarcer funds." Nearly three million Los Angeles County residents lack health insurance and rely on the county as a safety net, and the funding has not kept pace with the growing uninsured population, the editorial says. The editorial concludes, "Rather than leaving the increasingly complex problems of health care to a Board of Supervisors that oversees more than 30 other departments, the county should establish a board of trustees whose single purpose is to make the health department work" (Los Angeles Times, 9/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.