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Hospitals Want More Time to Make Facilities Earthquake Proof

Audio

Aired 9/1/09

California hospitals are looking to bypass a 2013 deadline to make their facilities earthquake-safe. The California Hospital Association says most of its members can't afford the construction costs.

— California hospitals are looking to bypass a 2013 deadline to make their facilities earthquake safe. The California Hospital Association says most of its members can't afford the construction costs.

The group is asking state lawmakers to toss the deadline. In exchange, hospitals are willing to push up a more stringent 2030 deadline to 2020. Hospitals would have to replace all structures at risk of collapsing during an earthquake by that date.

The Hospital Association's Jan Emerson can't guarantee they won't ask for another extension.

"You know, I don't have a crystal ball," Emerson said. "All I know is that right now, the law as is stands has to be changed, if we want to make sure that access to care for every Californian remains available."

Under current law, the state can close hospitals that aren't earthquake safe by 2013.

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