Nurses rally for San Leandro Hospital

April 28, 2009 5:03:17 PM PDT
Nurses rallied Tuesday morning at the Alameda County board of supervisors meeting. They are trying to save an East Bay hospital they fear may be on the chopping block.

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It is really a tale of two hospitals. Nurses fear that if Sutter Healthcare builds a new Eden Hospital in Castro Valley, their little hospital in San Leandro will be shut down.

The nurses say that Sutter Healthcare has threatened in past contract negotiations to shut down the hospital because it is a money loser and because its lease is up on June 30th. They say the hospital is a lifesaver for minorities, elderly and people who live nearby. It serves about 20,000 people a year in the emergency room.

Sutter is trying to get the Alameda County board of supervisors to clear the way for an environmental impact report on building a new Eden Hospital in Castro Valley. Nurses believe that if Sutter gets the okay for the report it will spell the end for San Leandro Hospital.

"Sutter has a track record of closing the smaller hospitals, eating them up, and then building newer and less affordable places," said Taqiyyah Shabazz, a nurse at San Leandro Hospital.

A Sutter spokeswoman Tuesday morning would only say that all options are on the table when it comes to San Leandro Hospital. Eden Hospital in Castro Valley would have 48 fewer beds than San Leandro Hospital currently does.

Both sides agree that San Leandro Hospital is a money loser. However, the question remains of what to do about it.

Sources said Tuesday that the vote clearing the way for the environmental impact report has been postponed for a couple of weeks.

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