Kaiser Richmond says ER is packed since DMC began diverting ambulances

West Contra Costa Healthcare District

Kaiser Permanente-Richmond said its emergency department has been “consistently full” since ambulance traffic began diverting away from Doctors Medical Center (DMC) on Aug. 7, according to the West County Times.

Kaiser officials said they are concerned they won’t be able to maintain the hospital’s quality of care with the influx of patients.

DMC stopped accepting emergency ambulance traffic due to the hospital’s  $18 million annual deficit, although the hospital’s ER is still accepting walk-ins. About 21 ambulances daily are no longer going to DMC but to area hospitals, and Kaiser, which has 15 emergency beds, has received about two-thirds of them, the Times reported.

County health officials, however, said the diversion has “gone relatively smooth” and that there is a contingency plan if Kaiser becomes overwhelmed.

But that hasn’t made Kaiser officials less nervous. We encourage our readers to read the full, comprehensive West Costa Times story on this subject.