Doctors Medical Center closes after more than 60 years of patient care

Doctors Medical Center, a 60-year-old community-owned safety-net hospital in San Pablo, Calif., closed this morning after years of financial struggles, according to a San Jose Mercury News report.

The closure was marked with a goodbye gathering around a flagless flagpole outside the main entrance, according to the report.  The report notes that the "austere, tearful and informal" goodbye included a bugler playing Taps on a small portable stereo, as well as other music.

Although the hospital has stopped providing clinical care, it will stay open for a few months longer as officials of the West Contra Costa Healthcare District and a skeleton staff prepare it for sale, according to the report.

In the meantime, Contra Costa Health Services is urging patients seeking emergency care to go to Lifelong Medical Care, a community health center located across the street from Doctors Medical Center. Lifelong Medical Care added an urgent care division Monday, the report reads.

Doctors Medical Center, which primarily serves low-income and uninsured populations in West Contra Costa County, has been dealing with a financial crisis for the last several years. Last summer, the hospital scaled back functions by sending ambulances to other parts of the county to reduce the number of emergency department patients. 


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