Sonora, CA — The second and final Bielenson Hearing is scheduled for this evening in the fourth floor Board of Supervisors´ chambers in the County Administration Center.
This will be the public´s last chance to voice an opinion regarding the fate of Tuolumne General Hospital.
Last Tuesday, in the initial Bielenson Hearing, County Administrative Officer Craig Pedro and his staff, on a preliminary basis, recommended privitization of T.G.H. due to the overall financial strain the hospital has placed on the county´s general fund.
Over the past two fiscal years, $15,727,173 has been taken from the general fund for T.G.H. That amounts to more money than was needed in the past eight years (1997-98 to 2004-2005). Add to that that the county has received $5,469,000 in Tobacco Settlement funds over the past two years that have also been earmarked for T.G.H.
When the Board votes a week from Tuesday, three options will be available; operation of the hospital would be on an acute care basis, non-acute care basis or privitized.
Pedro outlined one scenario; if the hospital remained on an “as is” basis; 88 county jobs would be lost. If T.G.H. became a non-acute care facility, 68 jobs would be lost. If the hospital was to be privitized, the county would gain 12 positions.
Click HERE for the live audio stream of this evening´s Bielenson Hearing. Sponsored by Blue Mountain Minerals, the presentation will get underway at 6pm.
Written by Bill Johnson