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on Apr 16, 2009
I continue to be amazed at the disconnect between the ECH Board's public comments vs. its actions. The Board has repeatedly said that Los Gatos hospital is a small acquisition amounting to nothing more than 'another floor' of El Camino Hospital and therefore requiring no monthly/quarterly profit and loss reporting or financial tracking. Yet this 'other floor' operation requires an initial investment of over $100 million; a separate hospital name for the Los Gatos facility; a new "President" to run the Los Gatos operation; and a committment to support multiple medical specialities. Apparently the ECH Board believes it can dupe taxpayers and ignore its stakeholders' demands for transparent reporting by claiming that a $100 million investment is pocket change and by making optimistic forecasts - while refusing to track and report on the future financial results of the Los Gatos operation. Much of El Camino Hospital's $400 million cash reserve is a direct result of the non-profit hospital's tax-exempt status and the tax revenue it has collected over 40 years from District taxpayers. The ECH Board demonstrates a level of arrogance and fiscal irresponsibility that is unparalleled in the non-profit world.
Based on this example of the El Camino Hospital District buying a facility outside the district, I can't wait for the Mountain View Whisman School District to purchase a failing school in East Palo Alto to help serve that community.
If the El Camino Hospital District had enough money to purchase a hospital in Los Gatos, why were we asked to approve a bond measure a few years ago? Surely, El Camino's operating profit could have been used to build the new hospital building right here in Mountain View.
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