Fearing that the threatened closure of a burn center at Torrance Memorial Hospital will leave the county with only two similar facilities, Supervisor Deane Dana announced a set of recommendations Tuesday to address the region's latest hospital crisis. It calls for taking steps to increase lobbying efforts in Sacramento.
"This facility and this service are vital to our community," Dana said in a motion he plans to introduce next week. "With large amounts of industry as well as unforeseen accidents, this service is one that must always be available locally."
Robert Gates, director of the county Department of Health Services, sent the supervisors a memorandum earlier this month alerting them that the hospital is considering closing its burn center "because of escalating uncompensated cost of treating uninsured burn patients."
The escalating cost of treating the poor and uninsured has also been cited by hospitals that have left the county's crumbling trauma-care network.
Dana noted that shutdown of the Torrance facility would leave the county with only two burn centers, Sherman Oaks Community Hospital and County-USC Medical Center.