Nunez Announces Panel To Study Hospital, ED Closures in Los Angeles County
Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) on Friday announced the creation of a special legislative panel to address hospital and emergency department closures in Los Angeles County, the AP/Los Angeles Times reports.
According to the Times, 28 of the state's EDs have closed since 2000, including six EDs that closed in Los Angeles County in 2004. Since the 1980s, 10 of the county's trauma centers have closed, "largely because of financial woes stemming from treating the indigent and uninsured," the Times reports.
The panel, to be called the Select Committee on the Los Angeles County Health Care Crisis, will consist of 12 state legislators, and Assembly member Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) will be the chair. The committee plans to meet for the first time next month and will focus on the "causes of financial and management problems," according to the Times. Panelists also will weigh comments from health care officials.
Nunez said in a statement, "The insured and uninsured alike will face a real disaster if the health care safety net begins to unravel. We must focus on this looming crisis and help make the county's health care system financially stable" (AP/Los Angeles Times, 1/29).