Voters have rejected a mail-in parcel tax aimed at keeping Doctors Medical Center (DMC) from closing for good this summer.
Measure C garnered support from nearly 52 percent of voters, far short of the two-thirds needed to pass the tax.
The tax would have generated $20 million annually that DMC officials say was necessary to keep the cash-strapped hospital from closing. Without those funds, DMC officials have warned, the hospital could shut down as soon as July 25.
In response to the tax measure’s failure, the California Nurses Association (CAN) released a statement warning about the public safety impacts of the hospital’s closure and urging elected officials to keep that from happening.
DMC provides 79 percent of the hospital beds and 60 percent of the emergency care in the region, according to CNA. Its closure would overwhelm emergency rooms in nearby hospitals, such as Kaiser Richmond, causing wait times to balloon to between 10 and 12 hours, the nurses warned.
“As a registered nurse who has worked for many years at DMC, I am intimately familiar with the critical need for a fully operational hospital to which non-Kaiser members have access in the Western region of Contra Costa County,” Seung Choo said in the CNA’s statement.
Measure C would have tacked on 14 cents per square foot a year on homes, or about $210 for a 1,500 square-foot house.
Tax-weary voters are already paying two parcel taxes annually to DMC: a 2004 tax for $52 per parcel and a 2011 tax for $47.
The hospital, which has a $143 million operating budget, has been losing money for years. A majority of its patients are covered by Medicare and Medi-Cal, which pays hospitals a lower rate than most insurance plans. Cuts to those plans have only made the fiscal situation worse, officials said.
Crime | Oct 20, 2015
A 31-year-old Richmond woman was sentenced to 21 years in state prison Tuesday for fatally shooting a 16-year-old ex-boyfriend who …
Jobs | Jan 26, 2016
Starting Feb. 1, Chevron will begin accepting applications for Operator Trainee positions at the Richmond Refinery, the company announced today. …
Crime | Nov 18, 2015
The woman pictured is wanted by police in connection with the violent robbery of an El Cerrito High student on …
Crime | Jul 14, 2015
A man was killed and a 17-year-old critically injured after shots rang out at the Monterey Pines Apartments complex in …
Crime | Sep 6, 2016
The community is mourning the deaths of an 18-year-old and her unborn child following a shooting in San Pablo Monday …
Recent News | Feb 7, 2014
Although the US Postal Service says only a small percentage of packages end up lost or delayed at its national …