Next week, the University of California Board of Regents will vote on the future of Hillcrest Medical Center, which is operated by the university’s San Diego campus. As I reported in January, UCSD had initially proposed to transform the hospital into a stand-alone emergency room.
That proposal was met with much community protest, and accusations that the university was trying to abandon the indigent, in addition to opposition from the county Board of Supervisors. The university now proposes leaving in-patient beds in Hillcrest.
Here’s what university spokeswoman Leslie Franz said in a statement today:
Since we last spoke, UCSD leadership has had several constructive meetings with leadership primarily in the South Bay to reach a clearer understanding about the community’s concerns, and to reinforce UCSD’s commitment to providing quality care south of Interstate 8 into the future. We have agreed that instead of planning for full consolidation of beds after 2030, when the Hillcrest hospital must be replaced and many other local hospitals must address the same seismic challenges, UCSD is open to exploring the option of ultimately building and/or operating inpatient facilities in Hillcrest or in partnership with other providers, to ensure there is adequate hospital capacity to serve the southern San Diego communities.
This is in addition to the commitment that we have always had to expand and improve outpatient and emergency services on the Hillcrest medical center campus so we have modernized, safe facilities to serve our patients. We are currently investing $80 million to enhance, expand and retrofit the Hillcrest hospital so that we can operate it at least until the 2030 state seismic deadline.