Ramblings of an Emergency Physician in Texas
Feds pull funding for L.A. hospital – Yahoo! News
What took so long? More to the point, why was this tolerated for so long?
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Of course this hospital should be shut down. But where are all the patients going to go? If the wait times in this ER are 4 hours (I’m guessing), how long will they be at the alternative hospital, which now has a lot more patients to deal with?
So the health care infrastructure in that area is so overbuilt that they can simply close a hospital and the others can easily absorb the overflow?
Knowing how overloaded most ERs are, those 50k ER patients are going to have to go somewhere… color me skeptical that this will be anything resembling a seamless transition.
While I generally agree that the waits will go up, I don’t see waiting at a hospital to get horrible care to be a good option. Yes, this is going to stink for their population, but they might live longer.
It isn’t the first delinquent inner-city hospital to close under a cloud of disrepute from chronic and uncorrectable performance deficiencies. Like D.C. General Hospital in Washington, which closed because of soaring budgetary requirements, not so much quality concerns, the patients will be sent to the emergency rooms of all the remaining hospitals that haven’t closed. The problems of overcrowding and underfunding will then be dumped on other institutions.
It sounds as if throwing money at the problem in L.A. wasn’t the solution anyway, and threats to close the hospital never really resonated with those whose responsibility to improve the conditions and the care there.
As implied above the reason it took so long to close was because as bad as the hospital was, it still offered access to an underserved and needy population. Just a bad situation all around.
I work here in Northern Mexico (aka southern california). Emergency care here is on the brink. The dominoes are going to continue to fall.
The reason King-Harbor (nee King-Drew) spent so long in its death throes is simple – it was a consolation prize given to the Black community of LA after the Watts riots (“Watts Uprising”, if you’re more politically correct than I). As such, it was a politico-medical plum whose medical and administrative leadership positions were awarded on the basis of Black political connections and not ability. It lies in the district of a Black County Councilmember (who stated that it would be closed “over my dead body” – though as of today, she still lives), and is an extremely important symbol of political power which is declining as Hispanics slowly displace Blacks in this area.
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