Sonora, CA — First District Supervisor Liz Bass cast the only dissenting vote of the five supervisors this afternoon when it came time to endorse C.A.O. Craig Pedro´s privatization model for the services now offered at Tuolumne General Hospital.
Under the new plan, effective July 1, all T.G.H. acute care services, i.e., surgury and emergency room, will be transfered to Sonora Regional Medical Center. The skilled nursing facility (long term care) and the psych unit will remain open at T.G.H. for a maximum term of three years.
April 24 Craig Pedro will recommend to the Board that operation of the current clinics be taken over by either Sonora Regional Medical Center, the MiWuk Indian Health Center or the M.A.C.T. (Mariposa, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne) Health Board.
According to Pedro, there is little if any financial risk in the hospital continuing to operate the skilled nursing facility. The psych unit shows an initial deficit of $477,000 in its first year of operation. Pedro feels if the average patient load can be increased from 10 to 12 beds, $450,000 of the deficit would be eliminated. Should that not occur, the psych unit could be shut down quickly as the average patient stay is only five days.
Written by Bill Johnson