Sunday, October 06, 2002
The Department of Health Services' recommendation to close 11 health centers in L.A. County was approved by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors on August 20. Apparently all 11 health centers were in need of critical maintenance and repairs estimated at $20 million, and 10 of the 11 were recommended for replacement or major remodel, estimated at $27.5 million. This move cuts almost $57 million from the budget of the DHS. This link will take you to the LA Public Health website, should you wish more information.
This week I saw a patient I hadn't seen in more than four years. She had lost her insurance and was being seen at a clinic, which was one of those closed by the DHS at just the time she finally qualified for health insurance through a new job. She felt like she'd escaped by the skin of her teeth, and I agree. This move may save money in the short run, but the overload of deathly ill people to the County emergency rooms will happen soon enough. I hope we don't wind up with increasing cases of TB or other preventable diseases because of this decision... tetanus, anyone? I predict the rates of cervical cancer will be going up within two years.