Two San Francisco Hospitals Might Miss Seismic Retrofit Deadline
At least two of San Francisco's three largest hospitals might not be able to meet the January 2013 deadline to comply with state seismic safety requirements, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The University of California-San Francisco Medical Center and San Francisco General Hospital are seeking to postpone or abandon certain projects associated with the retrofit, citing costs, logistical difficulties and complexity of the projects.
Meanwhile, California Pacific Medical Center is pursuing its original schedule and plans for a new hospital to meet the 2013 deadline.
Construction and labor costs per new hospital bed in recent years have increased from about $1 million to $2 million or more. According to the Business Times, many experts are questioning whether "hospitals locally and statewide will be able to muster the financial and other resources to comply by 2013."
Jan Emerson, a spokesperson for the California Hospital Association, said the law states that any building that does not comply with the standards by the deadline must be closed.
However, Mitch Katz, head of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said he believes state regulators will allow hospitals to remain open if they can demonstrate a "good-faith effort" to meet the standards (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 1/23).