Town hall meeting to detail Doctors Medical Center rescue plan

West Contra Costa Healthcare District

Richmond residents are encouraged to call into a telephone town hall meeting next week to learn about plans to prevent Doctors Medical Center in San Bruno from closing.

The town hall is scheduled for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and will be attended by hospital staff and elected leaders. See the flyer below for more information.

The safety-net hospital has been losing money for years, as many of its patients are covered by Medi-Cal, which pays hospitals a lower rate than most insurance plans.

The financial crisis could force the hospital’s closure as soon as this year, officials say.

The closure would “put the life of every West County resident in danger,” DMC doctors said, as the hospital receives more than 60-percent of ambulance traffic in the region. Not only would it take longer for residents to reach another emergency room, wait times at other hospitals would drastically increase, according to the campaign to save DMC.

To prevent a closure, Doctors Medical Center’s governing board approved a vote-by-mail parcel tax election in May. The tax, which would cost the owner of a 1,500-square-foot home about $210 per year, would raise $20 million annually for the hospital.

The hospital already receives $10.9 million annually from parcel taxes that passed in 2004 and 2011, according to The Contra Costa Times.

The rescue plan also reportedly includes leasing a part of the hospital’s parking lot to neighboring San Pablo Lytton Casino for $5 million. DMC officials were also reportedly in talks with the University of California at San Francisco regarding a possible partnership.