If Sutter Health/California Pacific Medical Center has its way, the southern part of San Francisco will have NO hospital except the overcrowded, underfunded County General. That part of the city is the last area where working families, many African American, Latino and of various Asian ethnicities, hang on in this gentrified, boutique city.
Elizabeth Fernandez tells the human and financial story on the front page of this morning's Chronicle. Some excerpts:
The St. Luke's drama is certainly an argument for a properly funded universal health care system -- but it also reveals that that pseudo-nonprofit corporations are no way to provide people the care that should be a human right. As a Sutter spokesman concedes in this article,
Not good enough. This rich country's failure to provide health care to all its residents in the interests of protecting the freedom of the comfortable to make a profit (that is what stops us, you know) makes all of us accomplices in crime.
See previous coverage of the St. Luke's struggle on this blog: here and here from 2005, as well as here and here from 2007 and here in 2008.
Old timers in San Francisco may be reminded of the long running, deeply community-based struggle to save the International Hotel in Chinatown, a battle whose fierce, joyful twists and turns rocked the city for a decade. Apparently we need to do that again.