Ridley-Thomas wants hospital reopened

LOS ANGELES He says it could open as a 120-bed hospital, possibly as early as next year. He joins other county officials in suggesting the troubled hospital be re-opened in stages, until it reaches its previous 400-bed capacity.

A report on what has to be done to make the hospital earthquake-safe is due next week. Ridley-Thomas says preliminary estimates put the cost of the renovations at about $200 million. It's still being decided how many hospital buildings will be saved, and how many will have to be rebuilt.

The county will also have to find an organization to run the facility. County officials have been trying to persuade the University of California system to tackle the job.

The hospital, formerly known as Martin Luther King Drew Medical Center was closed down in August 2007 following a number of reports of substandard conditions, poor patient care and staff problems.


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