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Report Says County Can’t Afford Hospital Improvements

Given its dire financial situation, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors was told by consultants Thursday that it effectively cannot afford an ambitious hospital improvement program, including rebuilding or replacing the nation’s largest public hospital, County-USC Medical Center.

But in a stormy meeting, the supervisors dodged the issue of what to do with the mammoth County-USC medical complex in Boyle Heights. Instead, they castigated representatives of the private accounting firm that was paid $480,000 to assess the county’s $2-billion plan.

Saying the report issued last month by the Harvey Rose Accountancy Corp. has raised more questions than it answers, the supervisors voted to put the entire Health Facilities Replacement and Improvement Plan over until January, when newly appointed health director Mark Finucane takes over the beleaguered Health Services Department.

The Rose report, released Oct. 25, recommended that the county abandon its plans to spend $1.2 billion on rebuilding County-USC, and instead build a much smaller hospital, with fewer than 800 beds.

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Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said the report showed that the construction plan “would have bankrupted” the county.


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