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Health

District May Pull Plug On Old Palomar Hospital In Escondido

Pictured in this undated photo is the Palomar Hospital in downtown Escondido that first opened in 1950.
Palomar Health
Pictured in this undated photo is the Palomar Hospital in downtown Escondido that first opened in 1950.

It may be the end of the line for the old Palomar Hospital in downtown Escondido.

The Palomar Health District board of directors will vote June 24 whether to close the 65-year-old facility.

Palomar officials said the hospital is costing the district $20 million a year. What's more, they say it would need $165 million in repairs just to stay in business.

But critics say closing the hospital would break a pledge.

When North County voters approved a bond measure for a new Palomar hospital in 2004, Palomar officials promised they would keep some services at their old site.

Palomar CEO Bob Hemker maintained it makes more sense to invest in the newer hospitals in Escondido and Poway.

"That will result in our continued commitment to the Escondido community as well as our other communities for generations to come, and the provision of high quality, safe care," Hemker said.

If the board decides to close the old hospital at next week’s meeting, Palomar would maintain an urgent care clinic in downtown Escondido.