Berkeley City Council Opposes Closure of City’s Only Hospital

The Berkeley City Council moved swiftly this week to voice its opposition to a plan that would close the city's only full-service hospital and emergency room by 2030. The dais approved a resolution Tuesday night following a massive rally outside Old City Hall which was attended by some of the members.

Sutter Health announced the impending closure of its Alta Bates Hospital in April. The decision was due in part to a 2030 state deadline requiring hospitals be able to withstand a major earthquake. The CEO has also cited a need to remain competitive in a rapidly changing healthcare system. Sutter intends to shift Alta Bates' services to its facility in Oakland.

Opponents of the plan are calling the closure a public safety issue. The hospital should just do the necessary retrofitting and stay open, the council members said.

Alta Bates is one of several Northern California hospitals recently making the decision to shut its doors. Dameron Hospital in Stockton has closed its Maternal Health Services, citing the end of its partnership with Kaiser. Colousa Regional Medical Center also shut down operations this year.

Read more about Tuesday’s resolution here.

Image Credit: Flickr User gwire, via (CC BY 2.0)