California lawmakers seek to stop hospital closure amid coronavirus spread

State legislators in California are calling on El Segundo, Calif.-based Verity Health to reverse its decision to close Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif., according to CBSN Bay Area.

Verity entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2018. In January, the health system closed St. Vincent Medical Center, a 366-bed hospital in Los Angeles, after a deal to sell four of its hospitals fell through. Now, Verity is reportedly planning to shut down its hospital in Daly City. 

San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa told a crowd at a community meeting March 4 that Verity is expected to shut down Seton Medical Center as soon as next week, according to the San Francisco Business Times.

A group of legislators is requesting Verity keep the hospital open, arguing that closing the facility would make it more difficult to treat future cases of the novel coronavirus. Seton Medical Center sees roughly 27,000 patients per year, according to CBSN Bay Area.  

"With COVID-19 posing a public health challenge and our homelessness crisis worsening — both of which are increasing trips to the ER — the closure of Seton Medical Center in Daly City is a huge problem for the community," states the letter from state Sens. Scott Wiener and Jerry Hill and Assemblymembers Phil Ting and Kevin Mullin. 

Hospital employees, including nurses represented by the California Nurses Association, are also speaking out against the possible closure.

"With reports of a dangerous pandemic that is rapidly growing across California and poses a significant threat to our community, it is unconscionable that we could be facing the loss of our hospital with almost no public notice," Seton Medical Center intensive care nurse Phoebe Minkler, RN, said, according to the report.

Verity did not respond to a request for comment.


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