SAN LUIS OBISPO: Coaltion Moves To Keep General Hospital Open
A coalition of people opposed to General Hospital being closed is planning to appeal a judge's ruling that allowed plans to shutter the facility to go forward. The San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune reports that members of the San Luis Obispo County Employees Association and Coalition to Save Our General Hospital met with an attorney Wednesday "to discuss their legal options." Coaltion co-chair Vita Miller said, "I personally feel that it isn't fair to allow just this one judge to have the final say when 73% of the people have said that they want to decide whether the hospital closes. Because of that, I think we would be failing in our duty if we didn't take it to a higher court." County Counsel Jim Lindholm said he believed the county would survive an appeal of the ruling. Superior Court Judge Kenneth Andreen ruled last month "that under state law the responsibility to decide how to provide mandated health care -- including the right to close a county hospital -- lies solely with the Board of Supervisors." The supervisors placed the issue on the November ballot, asking voters whether they supported a quarter-cent sales tax increase to raise the $5 million needed to keep the hospital open. Voters rejected that measure, but the coalition contends that many "people were confused by the financial aspects of the county's plan" and that the county staff "failed to provide clear numbers" about the hospital's expenditures. Those who support closing the hospital argue that the money could be better spent funding county clinics, while opponents contend that the hospital is a vital part of the county's safety net (Hurley, 1/7). Click here for previous coverage of this issue.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.