Auditors concluded that the county should contract with the American College of Surgeons to undertake a comprehensive assessment of its trauma care system and look at ways to better serve areas including Malibu, the eastern San Gabriel Valley, and large swathes of the Antelope Valley that don't have nearby trauma centers.
In Malibu, for instance, residents are about 20 miles from their nearest trauma facility,
He praised the audit findings, which included a recommendation that the county increase its efforts to open a trauma center in the east San Gabriel Valley.
"The San Gabriel Valley community has gone far too long without a trauma center and adequate emergency room funding," he said in a statement issued Thursday.
In the mid-1980s, there were 22 trauma centers throughout the county to serve victims of gunshot wounds, car crash injuries, burns and other serious injuries. Over a five-year period, many of them shut their doors due to loss of funding, prompting county officials to introduce the parcel tax measure as a way to save the remaining centers.
County officials disagreed with the audit's findings, saying that they have used the money to address the county's most pressing needs, including adding two new private trauma centers and expanding air ambulance services round the clock in the San Gabriel Valley.
"When you choose to live in Malibu because it's not near other things, it's not surprising that you don't have a trauma center," he said Thursday.