San Joaquin County Hospitals Face Pressure for Facility Improvements
The eight hospitals in San Joaquin County are "struggling" to meet expected facility improvement demands stemming from a growing and aging population and mandatory seismic retrofits, the Stockton Record reports. Area hospitals currently are experiencing capacity problems, which leaders expect to be complicated by local population increases. The Department of Finance estimates that San Joaquin County's population will reach 1.06 million by 2030, up from 579,712 in 2000. In addition, the county's median age is predicted to increase from 32 to 33 during the same period. Twenty-three of the county's 62 hospital buildings are considered at risk of collapse in an earthquake and must be retrofitted or replaced by Jan. 1, 2008, unless the hospitals receive an extension, according to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (Machado, Stockton Record, 10/6). California law requires that all hospitals guarantee by 2008 that their buildings would not collapse in a significant earthquake, or by 2013 if the buildings are expected to remain in use 30 years from now. By 2030, hospitals must be able to withstand a major earthquake and continue functioning immediately afterward (California Healthline, 8/15).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.