Experts Testify on Potential Impact of Closing Long Beach Community Hospital
Los Angeles, CA– Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors heard testimony by medical experts and members of the public about an impact report on the planned closure of Community Hospital in Long Beach. The report found that the hospital’s closure would negatively impact the surrounding community’s access to timely emergency services and medical care.
“This report confirms many of this community’s worst fears,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Closing Community Hospital will mean delays in emergency services for Long Beach and Signal Hill residents, even longer wait times at ERs, and an added strain on the entire county’s emergency services system.”
The Impact Evaluation Report was written based on information gathered at a community hearing requested by Supervisor Hahn and held in Long Beach on April 11 on the proposed hospital closure. MemorialCare announced recently that they plan to close the hospital a full year earlier than previously planned by July 3, 2018.
After the report’s findings were presented to the Board, Supervisor Hahn invited medical experts and community members to testify. Nurses, doctors, and community advocates, including a representative from Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell’s office, each testified about the real impact of closing this hospital.
Dr. Mike Vasilomanolakis, former Chief of Staff and current director of Cardiology at Community Hospital Long Beach, has worked at the hospital for 35 years. He testified that when the hospital closed briefly in 2000, patients suffered and some died.
“The consequences [of closing Community Hospital] are not just measure in life and death,” said Dr. Vasilomanolakis. “Patients will wait in pain longer, those with infections will risk having it get into the bloodstream and cause sepsis, those bleeding risk shock, simple appendicitis can become a ruptured appendix, and so on. There are serious morbidity concerns.”
“Imagine what our emergency responders are going to deal with if we close this place,” said Fourth District Emergency Services Commissioner Pajmon Zarrineghbal, who contributed to the final report.
The Board of Supervisors voted today to accept the findings of the impact report.