Uncertainty about the future of St. Luke’s hospital in the La Lengua Autonomous Zone is holding up approval of the California Pacific Medical Center’s $2.5 billion hospital development plan.
Supervisor David Campos and Mayor Ed Lee want guarantees that St. Luke’s will remain open for another 20 years, but CPMC seeks to retain flexibility in the matter. The SF Examiner reports:
“We have not been very optimistic based on the way in which CPMC and Sutter [Health] have approached this project,” said Supervisor David Campos, whose district includes St. Luke’s, which he and other city officials want to ensure remains open. But Campos said Wednesday supervisors heard enough from hospital officials Tuesday to merit “giving this another chance.”
In March, CPMC and the Mayor’s Office both thought that, after years of planning and negotiations, they finally had a deal, which included significant contributions by the Sutter Health-owned hospital group to community clinics, affordable housing and health care for the poor.
But Campos said concerns remain about the amount of charitable giving, affordable housing, traffic issues and a possible rise in health care costs. The main issue, he noted, is preserving St. Luke’s.
Last month, the Mayor’s Office said it had new information about CPMC finances that would put the hospital group closer to an escape clause in the deal, allowing it to abandon St. Luke’s. Hospital officials insisted they still would not reach the trigger, but Lee is now calling for a guarantee that St. Luke’s will remain open for at least 20 years.
Approval of the project’s developmental agreement, which includes the St. Luke’s trigger, is meanwhile being held up in committee.
“I think that that pause is probably very appropriate right now,” Lee said Wednesday, “to make sure that we’re making the right decision.”
PHOTO: St. Luke’s Hospital, as seen from Coleridge near Esmerelda, by sftrajan