VENTURA COUNTY: Westlake Residents Call for ER at New Facility
A coalition of doctors rolled out a "pre-application" proposal Tuesday to build an inpatient surgical hospital in Thousand Oaks, but the plans have sparked concern among Westlake Village residents who have been clamoring for an emergency facility since the closure of Westlake Medical Center three years ago. The Ventura County Star reports that the new 22-bed facility would offer "general, plastic, orthopedic, gynecological and other surgical services." The doctors modeled the plans on a similar FSC Health facility in Fresno, and the company will partner with the doctors to finance the majority of the facility, which is expected to cost $25 million. Dr. Patrick Reiten, one of eight doctors involved in the plans for the new facility, declined to disclose its location, but said that it would offer private rooms stocked with "televisions and VCRs, video libraries, mini refrigerators, book libraries, and bathrooms with hair dryers and bathrobes." Thousand Oaks City Manager MaryJane Lazz said the new facility would fill part of the void left by Westlake's closure. She said, "Anything we can do to enhance the medical services in our area will be supported, I'm sure. Everyone was sad to see the Westlake Medical Center close. It's a step in the right direction." But Chris Mann, who is running for city council, said for inpatient care, "we can go to Los Robles (Regional Medical Center). I think an emergency room is so important. If I had to choose, I'd take an emergency room without the hospital." Reiten said that a "future expansion to include emergency services is possible," but that for now, the primary focus is on surgical services (Glick, 7/7).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.