State Officials Seek Ways To Cut Costs Associated With Mobile Hospitals
State officials are considering whether to maintain three mobile hospitals reserved for emergency situations or dispose of them, the Sacramento Bee reports.
In 2006, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) purchased three mobile 200-bed hospitals for $18.3 million that would operate in the event of a pandemic or an earthquake that compromises brick-and-mortar hospital buildings.
Since then, California has not sustained any major catastrophes that required the state to use mobile hospitals.
As part of cost-cutting efforts to reduce the state budget deficit, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) last yearÂ cut $1.7 million allocated to refresh supplies for the hospitals and ensure that workersÂ are available to set up the facilities in less than three days.
Options for Mobile Hospitals
State officials are considering several strategies to reduce costs associated with maintainingÂ the mobile hospitals, including:
- Asking the mobile hospital manufacturer -- Blu-Med -- to extend a deal waiving the $1 million annual fee for maintenance and subcontractors in return forÂ being ableÂ to lease out two of the three mobile hospitals to other governments;
- Asking local and federal agencies for assistance;
- Lengthening the response time for setting up the mobile hospitals to five or seven days;
- Moving the mobile hospitals to smaller, less-expensive warehouses; and
- Shipping the mobile hospitals to Haiti (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 2/13).