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Sat Sep 21, 2019, 12:37 AM

East Bay mayor claims 'lives will be lost' if Alta Bates closes

EL CERRITO — An East Bay mayor is claiming that people will die needlessly if Sutter Health carries through with its plan to eventually shutter Alta Bates Medical Center as a full-service hospital in Berkeley.

“It’s serious — lives will be lost, resources will be lost,” said Albany Mayor Rochelle Nason, addressing a group of about 30 seniors at the Hana Gardens Senior Center in El Cerrito last week. “Disabilities and pain will be incurred which should not be incurred. This loss of hospital services is a very, very serious matter.”

Nason and El Cerrito Mayor Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto said that the hospital closure would affect residents, the uninsured, homeless, UC Berkeley students and the elderly. Both mayors are members of a task force, convened by Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, that is working to convince Sutter Health to keep Alta Bates open.

Sutter Health announced in 2016 that it would close Alta Bates by 2030 rather than do a required seismic retrofit. Sutter Health also said it would move Alta Bates’ emergency services from Berkeley to its Summit Hospital campus in Oakland’s Pill Hill neighborhood, about three miles away. It plans to expand the emergency department at Summit to accommodate the added patients.

Read more: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/09/18/east-bay-mayor-warns-lives-will-be-lost-if-alta-bates-closes/
(San Jose Mercury News)

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