San Francisco, UCSF Considering Plans for New Hospital
The San Francisco Department of Public Health and the University of California-San Francisco have resumed discussion of building a shared hospital complex in the Mission Bay development in the city's South of Market area, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Under one proposal in preliminary stages, UCSF and the city jointly would operate some functions, such as a trauma center and laboratories, but separately would operate independent hospitals located next to one another. UCSF already has plans to develop a new 43-acre biomedical campus in Mission Bay.
According to the Chronicle, the talks are motivated in part by state seismic retrofit regulations that hospitals are required to meet to continue operating. Although the proposed project likely would cost more than $1 billion, it would be less than the combined cost of rebuilding the public San Francisco General Hospital and UCSF Medical Center in Parnassus Heights.
Merging administration of a trauma center and other functions at the proposed hospital would "create a whole new relationship -- and a whole new set of potential problems and benefits" for UCSF and city DPH. For example, the department and UCSF have different deadlines for meeting seismic standards and the institutions' staffs are represented by different unions. According to the Chronicle, a joint hospital development project would require revision of the current Mission Bay land-use plan. However, administrators say that having the institutions' staffs work closely together could foster an alliance to recruit doctors and lower costs by reducing duplication of some services.
UCSF officials will meet with the University of California Board of Regents in September to request an additional 14 acres at Mission Bay. UCSF Vice Chancellor Bruce Spaulding said the additional land likely would be used for a hospital with about 250 beds. Spaulding said the board of regents' decision on this proposal would determine how UCSF will proceed in talks with city DPH (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/27).