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The State

July 11, 1986

As many as 93% of the hospitals in California likely do not meet earthquake safety standards established in a 13-year-old law, a state health planning official told the Seismic Safety Commission in Sacramento. Even if billions of dollars were available to rebuild most of the state's 600 hospitals, the task could not be completed before the end of this century and might take as long as 50 years, said Neal Hardman, a supervising architect for the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Hardman said the expense of upgrading hospitals to the current safety standard--which applies only to structures built after the Hospital Seismic Safety Act took effect in March, 1973--likely would average $100 million per hospital. The new 1986-'87 state budget includes $240,000 for a study of California hospitals to determine how earthquake-safe they are, how they might be upgraded and what the costs and priorities for improvements ought to be, he said.

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