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Long Beach hospital backs out of King-Harbor takeover talks

ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES — A Long Beach hospital has backed out of talks with the county to fully reopen the troubled Martin Luther King-Harbor hospital in South Los Angeles.

Pacific Hospital pulled out of negotiations, citing concerns the county declined to fully disclose, the Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site last Thursday night.

“I’m eager to find out if there is anything that can be done to bring them back to the table,” Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke told the Times. Burke represents the district that includes King hospital.

Burke said as of two weeks ago, Pacific was the “only live option to reopen the hospital.”

The county was forced to close most of hospital in August after its federal funding was revoked because of lapses in care, including the death of a woman who writhed unattended on the floor of an emergency room lobby.

In years leading up to the closure, the Board of Supervisors tried to reform the historic institution, treasured by blacks as a symbol of renewal after the 1965 Watts riots.

The 184-bed Pacific Hospital was criticized by some health experts as being too small and untested to run a large and complicated public hospital.

(Associated Press)