If only Sutter Health was so bullish on the future of San Leandro Hospital.
A spokesperson for Sutter told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat the health care provider could afford the new $284 million plan to build a new 82-bed hospital in San Rosa, despite losing $62 million in a five-year period ending in 2008.
Asked how Sutter could afford to build a $284 million project, spokeswoman Lisa Amador said Sutter is a large organization and it “has an obligation ... we intend to meet.” “We do not intend to lose money on the new hospital,” she said.Sutter says its hospital in San Leandro loses up to $600,000-a-month and its economic viability cannot be sustained, although critics says the hospital has cooked its books since signing an agreement with the health care district in 2008 to tentatively keep the facility open for two years. Competing lawsuits between the Eden Township Healthcare District and Sutter has extended the hospital's operation in the near-term.
According to the Press Democrat, leaders in Santa Rosa are questioning whether the small size of the proposed hospital can adequately serve the area's struggling low-income patients. Detractors of Sutter's rebuild of Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley have uttered the same concern and say it is instituting "medical redlining" dividing low-income, sometimes uninsured patients with more desirable middle-to-upper class patients residing in Castro Valley and the growing Dublin-Pleasanton corridor.