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Local News in Brief : Another Hospital Bailout Supported

Los Angeles County health officials are recommending that the Board of Supervisors award $1.25 million to 11 private hospitals to ensure continued operation of their emergency rooms through Nov. 30.

If approved by the supervisors Tuesday, the award will be the third bailout approved by the county during the last four months to avert emergency services cutbacks at key hospitals in the Los Angeles area, including downtown’s California Medical Center.

This time, however, the county is attaching a novel contingency to the funding. The hospitals will have to pay the money back if the Cigarette and Tobacco Tax Initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot fails to gain passage. The measure is designed to raise additional funds for health-care programs statewide.

County Health Services Director Robert Gates has recommended the supervisors approve the bailout package and stated in a memorandum to the board that hospitals have agreed to it.

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The hospitals are slated to each receive a portion of the $1.25 million, relative to the number of public ambulances they receive. Of the 11 hospitals, California Medical Center is expected to get the most, $284,000. White Memorial Medical Center would get the least, $23,625.


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