The former (left) and new L.A. County-USC Medical Center/Photo by Martin Zamora
It was only about five years ago when the main building at L.A. County-USC Medical Center – which appeared in the opening credits of the General Hospital soap opera – closed its doors and was replaced by a new, 600-bed hospital that opened next door on the Boyle Heights medical campus. But the new hospital, which had about five hundred fewer beds than the older facility, soon proved to be far too small to meet the demand, with it operating at 95% of capacity. Today, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a concept to spend as much as $450 million to add another 150 beds to the hospital. The proposal had been advocated by Supervisor Gloria Molina, who has long complained that the hospital needed to be larger to properly serve the surrounding area. “We are very happy about today’s vote,” said Molina spokeswoman Roxane Marquez. ” It’s a big victory.”
The new expansion, which would be funded by bonds, would be located on the site of the Boyle Heights medical campus. But the new hospital’s exact location and when it will be built remain unknown until a preliminary planning and technical analyses is conducted and presented to the board for final approval.
Molina, in a press release, said adding hospital beds will relieve pressure on the emergency room, where some patients wait for 10 hours, and prepare the Boyle Heights facility to handle more patients under expanded federal health care coverage.
“With a 750-bed hospital, Los Angeles County will be much more competitive, which is critical in the Affordable Care Act era,” Molina said in a statement. “Our health care system will have to attract and keep patients – even as we continue meeting our state-mandated obligation to give care to anyone needing it.”
- Officials consider adding more beds to County/USC Medical Center. L.A. Times