Saddleback Memorial Hospital in San Clemente will close on May 31 2016.
Memorial Hospital announced on March 2 2016 that it would be closing the struggling hospital.
The San Clemente City Council tried to keep the hospital in the community with rezoning the area.
There was also grass roots community support for retaining a hospital in San Clemente.
Here is the official Press Release from Saddleback Memorial Hospital:
Since August 2014, Saddleback Memorial has held hundreds of meetings with employees, physicians, local residents, businesses, community organizations and elected officials to share its vision for converting the San Clemente campus into a state-of-the-art ambulatory health care center.
The new vision included advanced urgent care, several outpatient programs and space for primary care physicians and specialists to revitalize the property into what many call the “Health Care Campus of the Future.”
The goal was to draw more physicians, patients and community members to the campus and become a health care destination for San Clemente and the surrounding communities.
As part of that vision, Saddleback Memorial worked with California State Senator Patricia Bates and Assemblyman Bill Brough on legislation (SB787 and AB911) that would have allowed a Satellite Emergency Department on the San Clemente campus.
Despite substantial efforts by a coalition of supporters, neither bill received enough votes in January to continue toward passage.
The following week, the San Clemente City Council voted to rezone the San Clemente campus property to require hospital services.
Like many small hospitals across the country, the San Clemente inpatient facility has continued to experience declining volumes.
The number of inpatients dropped to the low teens with many days in the single digits, and the number of inpatient surgeries to less than one a day.
Without legislation to allow a Satellite Emergency Department, and given this new restrictive rezoning that requires hospital services, the vision to convert the campus into a modern ambulatory care center cannot now be achieved.
As a result the decision has been made to close the campus on May 31, 2016.
This was not the outcome that was sought or expected.
Over the next months, there will be many discussions with local agencies to thoughtfully plan for the best transition of services.
Saddleback Memorial will continue to serve San Clemente and the greater community at our Laguna Hills campus as well as through health centers, imaging facilities, breast centers, ambulatory surgery centers and dialysis centers in San Clemente and surrounding communities.
We are also exploring adding new urgent care services in San Clemente, remain committed to seeking ways to meet the growing demand for convenient, affordable, high quality health care.