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DANIEL SOUZA, San Clemente

The article regarding the latest development of MemorialCare and our closed hospital in San Clemente since 2016 has me scratching my head.

Let me make sure I got this right. Memorial closed our hospital in San Clemente because they wanted to transform the property into an upscale urgent care, physician offices, imaging center, etc. They are a nonprofit health group, and they were not making enough money.

The City of San Clemente and its citizens did not want that, because we wanted and needed a hospital with an emergency room. So MemorialCare sued the City of San Clemente for not allowing them to do this.

The lawsuit was settled in 2019, and the judge told the two parties to work out their differences. So, it does not sound to me that the two parties have settled their differences. The citizens of San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano are all still commuting to an “overwhelmed” Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo or Laguna Beach for their emergency medical needs. 

Now this article is saying that Memorial wants to do all the same things they wanted to do in 2016 but with one little wrinkle, and that is to add on some senior housing. We don’t need any more urgent cares. We have four others in town.

What we need is a new hospital with an ER, and the recent survey in San Clemente last year regarding the city’s interest in developing a new hospital responded with an 83% yes for creating a new hospital. When do you ever get 83% of any group to agree on an issue? 

Here is a suggestion, since cost is always an issue. Could we not carve out a special district that is inclusive of San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano residents to contribute to the funding of a new hospital? This is not a new idea.  

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