UC Regents Won’t Close Financially Troubled Hospital

Pleased that Orange County supervisors allocated emergency funds to aid financially troubled UCI Medical Center, UC Regents said Thursday they would not close the hospital now.

But they cautioned that closure would remain an option if long-term plans to improve the facility are not successful.

“I had several calls from people in the last few days asking me if this would be the meeting in which we would decide to close the hospital down,” said Frank Clark, an attorney who chairs the Board of Regents’ Hospital Governance Committee. “No such motion to close it is on the table, and no such motion will be made in the immediate future. We will try to work this out to the very best of our ability.”

However, Clark added: “There are many problems involved in closing down a hospital, and we are working to identify those--not because we plan to, but we must identify, from a legal standpoint, just where we are.”

Clark’s remarks came after the regents, meeting at UCLA, heard a report from UC Irvine Chancellor Jack W. Peltason about the state of the medical center.