By Jon Kawamoto
East Bay Times
EL CERRITO — An East Bay mayor is claiming that people will die needlessly if Sutter Health carries through with its plan to eventually shutter Alta Bates Medical Center as a full-service hospital in Berkeley.
“It’s serious — lives will be lost, resources will be lost,” said Albany Mayor Rochelle Nason, addressing a group of about 30 seniors at the Hana Gardens Senior Center in El Cerrito last week. “Disabilities and pain will be incurred which should not be incurred. This loss of hospital services is a very, very serious matter.”
Nason and El Cerrito Mayor Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto said that the hospital closure would affect residents, the uninsured, homeless, UC Berkeley students and the elderly. Both mayors are members of a task force, convened by Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, that is working to convince Sutter Health to keep Alta Bates open.