Two Los Angeles County supervisors Tuesday introduced a proposal to study the addition of 150 beds to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, the county's overcrowded flagship hospital.
The proposal comes about a week and a half after The Los Angeles Times reported that severe overcrowding was routine at County- USC, which in 2008 moved into a new $1.02-billion facility with 224 fewer beds. In May, the hospital's emergency room was deemed overcrowded about 80% of the time, with conditions considered severe or dangerous for half of that month.
"The right-sizing of L.A. County-USC Medical Center is unfinished business," Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. "This is the flagship trauma center of L.A. County … and every single county resident has something at stake in the viability of L.A. County-USC Medical Center."
In a highly contentious vote in 1997, three of the board's current supervisors — Michael D. Antonovich, Don Knabe and Zev Yaroslavsky — formed part of a board majority that reduced County-USC to a 600-bed hospital, citing concerns about cost. Health department officials and physician and hospital trade groups joined Supervisor Gloria Molina in supporting a 750-bed hospital.