SAN MATEO: Residents Oppose Planned Closure of Area Clinics
More than 250 residents appeared at a San Mateo County Board of Supervisors budget hearing Monday to protest proposed cuts in some health services, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The meeting kicked off four days of public hearings on the county's $979.8 million budget for the next fiscal year. Despite a 5% increase in overall budgetary spending, budget officials said that health services cutbacks were needed to close a $6.2 million shortfall expected in the Health Service Agency. Residents opposed the cutbacks, which included the closure of Belle Haven Community Health Clinic in Menlo Park, two elementary school clinics and a hospital ward for seniors with psychiatric illness. Officials blamed the health department's financial problems on federal cuts in Medicare and an increase in the number of uninsured patients using county health services. Following four hours of testimony, the Board of Supervisors ordered budget officials to find a way to keep open the Menlo Park clinic and one of the school clinics (Wilson, 6/27).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.