City of Corcoran steps up to keep hospital open

February 11, 2009 11:53:21 PM PST
The city of Corcoran has extended a half million dollar lifeline to the Corcoran District Hospital. Hospital administrators say without the money, the hospital would have had to shut down by Sunday.Administrators say the state owes the hospital $1.2 million dollars for inmate and indigent care, which accounts for 90 percent of the services they provide. They say because of the state's budget woes the hospital has used up all of its reserves just to get by since November. "We have gone through our reserves. We want to keep the hospital open; we want to keep it alive," said Corcoran District Hospital Board Member Kathy Turner.

The Corcoran District Hospital has 32 beds and employs more than 130 people. Both city and hospital officials say it provides services Corcoran can't afford to lose. "If the hospital were to shut down we would have to transport people all the way to Hanford or Tulare which can make a difference between life and death," said Turner.

The Corcoran City Council unanimously approved the $500,000 loan during an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon. "We need to be responsible. This is public money so we're going to secure that, but they realize the importance of the hospital here in our community," said Corcoran City Manager Ron Hoggard.

This is the second time the city council has agreed to loan the hospital cash. Last year they gave the hospital $200,000 that has already been paid back. Still, hospital officials insist the hospital's finances would be just fine if it wasn't for the state. "If that money had been given to us, we would not be facing this at this point," said Turner.

Thursday hospital administrators will be asking Kings County supervisors for an additional $100,000 dollar loan and they're also appealing to private businesses and organizations. They say the half million dollar loan approved Wednesday will get them through the next 30 days.

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