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Supes Extend Contracts for Temporary Surgeons

Tuolumne County Supervisors Tuesday agreed to allow some temporary surgeons to keep working at the county run hospital for another month. Tuolumne General Hospital chief Barry Woerman said the temps need to stay in place while contracts with local surgeons are being hammered out.

“There are several questions that still have to be anwered, but in principal they (the local surgeons) have agreed that they would like to support both hospital´s surgical programs,” Woerman said. TGH and Sonora Community Hospital would share some surgeons under the proposal.

Woerman said the unresolved issues have to do with how the surgeons would split their time between the two hospitals, and how much they should be compensated for taking time away from their offices to care for patients at TGH.

Woerman said the local surgeons, which are less expensive than the temps, could be working at TGH by July 15th. The temporary surgeons are more expensive because their travel and housing expenses must be paid.

Also on Tuesday, County Supervisors agreed to allow the hospital´s administration to convert six beds from acute care to long term care.

“It´s better to have a long term care bed filled, than to have an empty acute care bed,” Woerman said. When it comes to long term care in Tuolumne County: “Beds tend to be filled constantly,” he said.

These moves are part of the overall plan to cut costs at Tuolumne General, which has borrowed $6 million and used $11 million from the county general fund over the last six years.