El Camino Hospital opens 'cyberknife' cancer center

A new tumor-treatment facility at El Camino Hospital could help address the hospital's recent budget woes by attracting more patients, hospital officials said.

The hospital's Radiotherapy CyberKnife Center, which opens on May 3, will feature three new precision tumor-treatment technologies, hospital spokeswoman Chris Ernst said Tuesday. These technologies make El Camino Hosptial an attractive option for cancer patients, she said.

"Patients with cancer, they research carefully to try to find the hospitals that offer the most advanced, cutting edge treatments … it's a way to try to attract more patients who are not at El Camino," Ernst said.

The hospital announced April 14 that it had lost more than $11 million during the current 2010 fiscal year. Hospital officials said the budget shortfall was caused by a decrease in revenue-providing treatments and an $8 million write-off of uncollectible bills.

Ernst said funding for the Radiotherapy CyberKnife Center came from the hospital's budget for the 2009 fiscal year and the El Camino Hospital Foundation, the hospital's fundraising organization.


Like this comment
Posted by ECH taxpayer
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 4, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Wouldn't it be nice if the ECH administration reported quarterly on projects such as these - and disclosed the revenues along with the operating costs including amortization of multimillion equipment and facilities, as well as the salaries paid to doctors and staff and technology advisers. The ECH district taxpayers deserve to know if these multimillion investments really pay off. I think the hospital spent millions of dollars just building the facility to house the Cyberknife. Why does the hospital lump all of its operations together and not break out and track individual multimillion dollar investments and report on them to the public?

Like this comment
Posted by @ECH taxpayer
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Because it's a private hospital. Or it's a public hospital. Or it's a private hospital but a public hospital district. Wait. I'm confused.

Oh, right. They're public in contexts where there's a benefit to being public (taxes) and they're private in contexts where there's a benefit to being private (sunshine laws).

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