BERKELEY, Calif. – Chants of “Save Alta Bates” from over 150 people filled the Ed Roberts Campus Atrium during a town hall regarding the future of the Berkeley hospital.
Alta Bates Summit Hospital in Berkeley will close its doors by the year 2030, according to Sutter Health.
The California Nurses Association (CNA) says that patients and communities across the east bay would be the most impacted by the closure.
“There’s a health care desert between Vallejo and Berkeley right now,” said Stephanie Patten, a registered nurse at the Summit campus. “They are being pushed further and further out and not being able to receive the critical services that they need. Berkeley deserves and Sutter originally committed to a fully acute care hospital in that community.”
Nurses say that the transfer of patients, staff, and services will be too much to absorb for other hospitals.
Noella Lopez, also a registered nurse, said, “It’s going to be really a disaster because a lot of patients use Alta Bates. Right now our ER is really full at Summit and it’s really causing a lot of influx of patients there right with Alta Bates still being open.”
“We already have people on gurneys in the hallways in our ER waiting for a bed waiting to be admitted and to be seen. There just isn’t the capacity.”
Sutter Health was not present at the town hall despite being invited by the nurses’ union; however, according to a report from FOX KTVU, a spokeswoman from Sutter Health says they are planning to ask for public input regarding plans for and after the hospital closure.