New urgent care facility opens in San Pablo amid hospital closure

SAN PABLO, Calif. (KGO) -- As one hospital closes in San Pablo, a new urgent care facility opened nearby Monday to help serve some of the patients.

Hector Hernandez was the first patient to visit the new Lifelong Medical Care facility in San Pablo. "Really, really inconvenient, you know I think it's a tragedy that Doctors Medical Center is closing, so this is a blessing you know having a clinic," Hector Hernandez said.

This urgent care facility will pick up some patients from Doctor's Medical Center, which is closing on Tuesday. The facility is only opened to those with non-life threatening injuries from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

"People who have a cut, somebody who fell down and they don't know if they particularly could've fractured a bone," Lifelong Medical Care spokesperson D.L. Poole said.

As Doctors Medical Center closes, the San Pablo community is left without an emergency room. "If I have an emergency, I will have to go to Martinez or Walnut Creek, which is too far away from here," Hernandez said.

Desmond Carson is a physician who worked at Doctors Medical Center for 18 years. "Didn't even have time to cry. Sad day for me," he said.

Carson is now working at the new urgent care facility and so is Judy Phuong, an x-ray technician. She lives with her grandmother who used the old hospital. "Being worried not knowing where she's going to go next and when she has a heart problem or something like that, where is she going to go?" she said.

The hospital was forced to close because it was operating on a deficit and losing $18 million a year.

The new urgent care center will accept patients on Medicare and Medi-Cal.

Those without insurance will be billed based on what they can afford to pay.

click here for some background history on this story.
Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.