Doctors Medical Center fights closure

About 250,000 West Contra Costa County residents may soon be in the midst of a health care crisis. Doctors Medical Center San Pablo has lost millions of dollars for years by treating the uninsured and underinsured. The hospital has stayed afloat with the help of two parcel taxes and previous funding from the state and area providers including John Muir and Kaiser. But it still faces a sixteen million dollar shortfall for this year. A third parcel tax measure will be put before voters that would bring in about twenty million per year. But even if two-thirds of the voters approve the tax measure, the hospital will still need to make up the sixteen million shortfall to stay open long enough to use the funds. If these things don’t happen, Doctors Hospital will close, which will cause wait times at other area hospitals to skyrocket.

This story first aired on KALX 90.7 FM and is a production of Northgate Radio.

For more information on Measure C click here.

8 Comments

  1. Tony Suggs

    Why is there never a discussion of solving the problems that created the deficit in the first place?

    The only solution that is repeated every 5 or 6 years is raise more taxes.

    My property tax bill has 9 Special Taxes or Assessments. The 2 largest are for the hospital and total over $1,000.00.

    Then there are 11 other Ad Valorem Taxes and Assessments adding another $1,735 for a total property tax bill of $3,352.

    Twenty Taxes and Assessments on a property valued at a little over $100,000.

    Enough already!

    • Sandra Davenport

      Yes I am voting no also and I NEVER vote no on these things. Just the fact that the casino gave the yes campaign $250,000 makes me suspicious right there. I don’t believe the threats that we will all die going to another hospital, going to Oakland, etc. Oh, by the way, Alta Bates – where I have gone for ER – is NOT in Oakland like the proponents say, it is off Ashby in Berkeley. And Martinez is not that far either!

  2. Michael

    Hey, Tony! It’s a F.I.A.T. !
    (Fix It Again Tony)…used to be a description of owning a Fiat Car. I’d say its a description of owning a house in Richmond….except that after the taxes are paid, who has the money to fix the house in Richmond?

    But another new tax for Doctors Hospital? Thats’ another Fiat! You can’t fix it, it will always lose money. It will always lose money because the same conditions that cause the gunshots that put the kid in the hospital in the first place cause the no payment in the second place–NO MONEY.

    Which come from no fair-paid jobs. Or no jobs at all. Or jobs that pay well, and those folks buy houses and pay taxes OUTSIDE the city of Richmond. They can’t wait to get out. Like Pixar couldn’t wait to get out, or any business waiting and wanting to do well. Rumor was Chevron even tried to sell the refinery to the Chinese to get out.

    LOL, folks, you gotta laugh. Cryin’ ain’t worth it. What can I do but vote no on Doctors Hospital? I can’t afford the taxes. I can’t afford the gunshots either. The State Gov can’t pay, they don’t have the politics or the ethics, or the money. The Fed Flopdicks are paid off by the Rich Republicans, and worried about getting shot by Rural Conservative Snipers from their own small towns.

    And the Press? Journalism? Hey, if your a reporter for this news, your better off in this comedy by writing a good movie script, say, a rewrite of The Divine Comedy? A Futurist ‘Grapes of Wrath? A “Class War in the Suburbs”? Ahhh, but then there’s more Republican Cash in Fox News right? Write?

  3. Grandpa

    Here’s thing about this thing. Best case, this tax stabilizes the operating budget at DMC. Even so, the building itself is not up to state seismic standards and must be rebuilt. Another tax coming, people!! Time to stop throwing good money after bad. And don’t believe the scare stories. The vast majority of DMC ER visits are not “code red” life and death issues; they’re people who are using the ER as the easiest way to get “urgent care” services. Once DMC closes, the County will need to expand the network of clinics that it already operates in West County. Severe trauma cases (gunshot and car crash) will continue to go to Muir ER, just as they do now. The only worrying “hole” left in the care network will be emergency heart attack and stroke care; Kaiser will need to expand its ability to handle these cases in its Richmond ER (remember, ERs accept all comers, not just Kaiser patients).

  4. Nancy Irving

    How come Doctors, a for-profit hospital, cannot make a profit when the public, non-profit Contra Costa system’s Martinez Hospital runs surpluses of millions a year? (The Martinez facility also treats many, many indigent patients.) Hey, I thought for-profit organizations are always better run and more efficient, right, Republicans?

    I would like to see the CCHS establish emergency facilities at their new San Pablo campus. Then we could dispense with the money-pit that is the old, out-moded Doctors Hospital for good.

  5. Tony Suggs

    Don’t know whey all the Republican bashing got into this discussion. Richmond and California has been run by Democrats for decades.

    So stay on topic and discuss the issue of the hospital. I doubt that it is a Republican conspiracy.

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