Disability Rights Advocates To Sue Alameda County To Keep Clinics Open
Oakland-based Disability Rights Advocates, along with Bay Area Legal Aid, plan to file suit next week if Alameda County does not agree to keep two health clinics open that are scheduled to close June 30, an attorney for the group said Tuesday, the Oakland Tribune reports (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 6/11). Alameda County Medical Center's board in April voted to eliminate outpatient services at Fairmont Hospital in San Leandro and Central Health Center in Oakland. Medical center officials said about 15,000 mostly uninsured residents who now receive care at the two facilities will have to transfer to one of four other outpatient clinics (California Healthline, 5/8). The disability rights group said that by closing the clinics, the county is breaching its obligation to provide adequate health care to indigent and disabled residents. The group sent letters to medical center trustees and county supervisors last month urging them to keep the clinics open at least until August to allow time to negotiate a solution. Medical center officials said they are taking the advocates' letter "very seriously," Rachael Kagan, a spokesperson for the medical center, said it has a transition plan for disabled and chronically ill patients to ensure "uninterrupted treatment" at other county health clinics, the Tribune reports. Attorneys for the medical center and the county yesterday said they would deliver a joint letter in response to the groups' actions (Oakland Tribune, 6/11).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.