The California Hospital Association is seeking to refocus the state’s 2030 seismic safety requirements on “emergency” services only, and is seeking more time to reach compliance in buildings that provide other hospital services.
The request comes as the association says hospitals in the state are facing financial strain from the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals in the state posted a net loss of $8 billion in 2020, including federal financial relief, according to the association. According to the lobby, another $2.2 billion in losses is expected this year.
“As a result of lessons learned from last year, it is time for state lawmakers to take a fresh look at a 1990s-era state law that would impose billions of dollars in costs on hospitals and, if not amended, lead to hospital closures across the the state “.
The organization called on the state legislature to pass a proposal that would move California Hospital seismic requirements for 2030 to become fully operational only in buildings that provide “emergency” services. It will also give hospitals until 2037 to comply with other requirements.
The California Nurses Association said in a news release July 12 that it opposes the proposal.
“Every day we delay compliance further, we are risking people’s lives,” the statement read. “The real goal of corporate hospitals is to break completely out of the scope of 2030 seismic safety standards and leave us all unprotected. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deadly tragedies that occur when hospitals are not prepared for disasters and emergencies. Let’s not allow hospitals to make the same fatal mistake twice” .
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