SCRIPPS MEMORIAL: Hopes to Reopen Hospital Dim
Those hoping to reopen Scripps Memorial Hospital East County received another blow Wednesday, when Texas-based Paragon Health Resources, which had been working with Scripps to reopen the hospital, announced it could not pull a plan together. In a memorandum to East County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Paragon President Bruce Stewart said he could not find a company interested in operating the hospital, adding that Paragon could not "be counted on for further assistance." He cited a lack of support from doctors and the community as well as a $1 million start-up cost to get the hospital reopened and operational. Dennis Wilcox, an area surgeon, was disappointed, saying, "The people of East County are really hurting for emergency room beds." The closing of Scripps Memorial earlier this month was opposed by community residents and leaders, who argued that shutting down the facility forced ambulances to travel an additional 10-12 minutes to neighboring Grossmont Hospital. Pointing out that the city received the minimum amount of notice, 90-days, before Scripps closed, Jacob said, "The short amount of time that Scripps gave us made it very difficult to find another buyer. We have not given up ... but it makes it more difficult" (Pierce, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/22).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.