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Survey: Calif. Hospitals Not Ready for Earthquake Retrofit Deadline

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Aired 7/31/09

A new survey finds most hospitals in California won't meet the state's 2013 deadline for seismic retrofitting. The state could force those hospitals to close their doors.

— A new survey finds most hospitals in California won't meet the state's 2013 deadline for seismic retrofitting. The state could force those hospitals to close their doors.

The California Hospital Association says 64 percent of its members won't make the deadline.

Richard Liekweg, CEO of UCSD Medical Center said many hospitals don't have the financial strength to retrofit.

"That's a function of seeing a larger increase in the uninsured population, and then a tightening of the credit markets," Liekweg said. "So this is a very difficult challenge for most hospitals in the state of California."

UCSD hospitals will complete their seismic retrofitting this fall. Sharp Memorial and Palomar are among the other local facilities that will meet the 2013 deadline.

Some hospitals may get an extension until 2015.

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