San Francisco Health Commission Considers $12.6 Million in Budget Cuts
The San Francisco Health Commission on Tuesday will consider $12.6 million in budget cuts for the city Department of Public Health, a move that could result in the closure of four mental health clinics and a reduction in hours at two primary care clinics and in nonmedical HIV/AIDS services, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The plan also would make cuts to the department's administrative and managerial staff and would contract with an outside firm for laundry services at Laguna Honda Hospital (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/11). The commission is considering the proposal after receiving a budget plan from Dr. Mitch Katz, chief of the San Francisco DPH, in March. That plan called for $37 million in cuts, which were expected to be similar to previous failed proposals to cut adult dental, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS services; the elimination of 130 department positions, 43 of which are currently vacant; and the introduction of copayments of $5 per generic drug prescription and $10 per brand-name drug prescription for people who currently qualify for free medications but have annual incomes of more than 100% of the federal poverty level. The proposal aimed to close a city budget deficit totaling more than $300 million (California Healthline, 3/16). The commission earlier this year approved $19.7 million in budget cuts -- mostly in layoffs. If the commission approves the latest proposal, Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) will then decide whether to include the plans in his city budget proposal, which he will submit to the Board of Supervisors by June 1 (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/11).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.