DOWNEY HOSPITAL: City Council Votes To Call In State Officials For Resolution
The Downey City Council yesterday voted 3-2 to call in "state officials to resolve a conflict" over Downey Community Hospital. The dispute centers on disagreement between hospital officials and council members about whether council members "should be allowed to sit on the hospital's holding company board." While council members, as "ex-officio non-voting members," already sit on the hospital's foundation board, the hospital "refuses to allow" them membership status on the holding board. Mayor Gary McCaughan proposed the measure that was advocated "by a vocal group of more than 100 Downey residents who for more than two years have accused the hospital of being financially unsound and no longer providing quality health care." The two dissenting council members -- 4th District Councilman Robert Brazelton and 1st District Councilman Keith McCarthy -- "said the mayor's proposal was too strong." Brazelton said, "I'm not in favor of referring (questions) to the district attorney or the auditor" and "you only ask the district attorney to investigate if there's strong evidence of a crime, and I haven't seen any." But McCaughan said, "I think both agencies here, the city council and the hospital, are ... severely damaged (by the controversy)" (Douglas, Long Beach Press-Telegram, 10/28).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.