Santos: Without Solution Hospital Will Close July 1

After receiving news of the Eden Township Healthcare District’s decision to fire its legal counsel Monday night, San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos addressed the city council chambers and reflected the views of the District’s chair criticizing the board’s move and saying without a quick resolution to Sutter’s lawsuit against the District, San Leandro Hospital will close July 1. Here is a transcript of Santos’ statement:

I, along with Councilmember [Jim] Prola and Councilmember [Michael] Gregory were at the Eden Township hospital board meeting on Dec. 16 and I personally reiterated the position of San Leandro and that is we want the hospital and the ER to remain open. I offered and I have offered in the past and I continue to offer to work with all the parties to try and solve this matter short of litigation. There is a lawsuit pending and it turns out if that litigation is not solve real soon the hospital will effectively close on July 1.

So, with the firing today of the Eden Township Hospital District’s counsel and a temporary replacement with the possibility of the present board setting up an ad-hoc committee to select a replacement counsel they may not have ample time to get an attorney up to speed and that could create a real problem. Therefore, it is–I hope council will think about this–but it is really imperative that the present board come up with a plan whereby they can work with all of the involved group to get some type of program in place which would keep the hospital operating beyond July 1. Whether or not the board can come up with a plan which everybody will accept–I’m not certain–but I hope they will work on that.

There has been a suggested plan to keep the hospital operating over the next four or five years with an ER with an urgent care unit with rehab on the fourth floor. Whether that is going to fly or not is up to the involved parties. I don’t see a way they can solve this lawsuit without compromise in the next seven months. It’s in their camp and hopefully they will be able to reach an agreement.