Join 3,557 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Killer King Shuts It's Doors
August 16, 2007 11:12 PM   Subscribe

Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital, formerly knows as King/Drew and forever known as Killer King, has shut its emergency room and will close in a week due to feds pulling its funding. The hospital near the Watts section of LA, best known for its incompetent staff and meaningless deaths was profiled here a few months ago. Local residents see the hospital as a symbol of freedom and don't want to see it go. (UpdateFilter)
posted by daninnj (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Oops...grocer's apostrophe's in title.
posted by daninnj at 11:17 PM on August 16, 2007


Worrie's about grocer's apostrophe's are the mark's of good writer's.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:29 PM on August 16, 2007


There is nothing good about this... Oy.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 12:04 AM on August 17, 2007


So what do those folk do for emergency health services now? Or are they expected to expire, thus solving the government's problem?
posted by five fresh fish at 12:11 AM on August 17, 2007


Reactions range from grief to relief.
As one who educated himself about the homeless by living in their shoes...glad to hear. A care facility that backs itself by name & past means nothing to those that need care today. Being in existence is being present today, not yesterday.

The first story I head about this place was a wheel chaired man being dumped by the hospital twice at a homeless shelter. Though the shelter was not equipped for the handicap, he was repeatedly driven dumped there. Worst, he had a vehicle that he could have been dropped off at near by, making things easier for all.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:12 AM on August 17, 2007


There is nothing good about this...
True
posted by thomcatspike at 12:13 AM on August 17, 2007


So what do those folk do for emergency health services now? Or are they expected to expire, thus solving the government's problem?

Did you read the five part series? This place is a fucked up horrendous mess. People cry racism about this place but it's really not the case. They get (okay, got) the funding, but some dude at the top is pocketing it all. In one of the articles about it my partner was reading the cops in the area have an explicit understanding with each other that should any one of them be shot or injured to not be taken to King. Even when it's closest.

It's a really simplistic view to take if you don't read the story. It's heinous. They are killing people. Or were.
posted by birdie birdington at 3:01 AM on August 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Completely off-topic: Holy shit, it's thomcatspike! Welcome back!
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:58 AM on August 17, 2007


Holy shit, it's thomcatspike! Welcome back!

Same from me!
posted by languagehat at 5:33 AM on August 17, 2007


Heya Thomcatspike!
posted by notsnot at 5:41 AM on August 17, 2007


It would have been better refurbish the hospital, maybe with a different name and provide adequate funding and management.
posted by delmoi at 6:04 AM on August 17, 2007


delmoi, "County officials have said they will seek out a private operator to take over King-Harbor and try to reopen it within 12 to 18 months. But previous attempts to find any takers failed, and success this time is by no means assured. If no private operator can be found, Chernof said, the county may attempt to reopen King-Harbor itself within the same time period."
posted by mendel at 6:48 AM on August 17, 2007


delmoi

They tried doing that for years. Unfortunately, the corruption and mismanagement at Killer King was an epidemic beyond treatment, especially given the naive, confrontational mentality of the Hospital's community backers.

It's hard to make progress when every substantive change you assay is decried as an initial salvo in an imagined race war. And I'm not exaggerating; that was a frequent charge leveled at county health officials when they tried to effect change at the predominantly black institution.

While I do hope that King returns at some point, though perhaps with a different name, it will require substantial improvements in both infrastructure and management.
posted by The Confessor at 6:54 AM on August 17, 2007


"I gave birth to my first child at King-Drew 33 years ago. To see it close is like losing a member of the family."

A family member? Sure, a once-promising child who grew up into an untrustworthy alcoholic who leaves the stove on and forgets the change the baby's diapers because they're high all the time.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:13 AM on August 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


The trouble with its closing is that now people who used it as their primary care (you know, poor people who aren't covered by insurance and rely on emergency rooms) are going to flood other hospitals outside their areas. And these hospitals are not compensated by the government for walk-ins from the area, only for people brought in by ambulance. This is going to place a huge burden on other LA area hospitals, which are already under great stress.
posted by OolooKitty at 8:20 AM on August 17, 2007


Sorry, that should have read that hospitals are not compensated for walk-ins FROM OUTSIDE their areas.
posted by OolooKitty at 8:21 AM on August 17, 2007


In a five-part series published in December 2004, The Times detailed how the hospital had become one of the worst in the nation by a variety of measures, largely because county supervisors failed to take aggressive action for fear of being branded racist.

It became clear in May that King-Harbor had still not turned around. A 43-year-old woman died after writhing in pain on the floor of the emergency room lobby for 45 minutes. Hospital staffers looked on and did nothing to help; a janitor mopped up around her as she vomited blood.


I wonder how many people would be alive today if the county supervisors had been strong enough to tolerate someone calling them names.
posted by jason's_planet at 9:22 AM on August 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I feel for the people in the neighborhood who are saddened by the hospital closing it's doors, but it really feels like watching someone with Stockholm syndrome, or someone trying to defend an abusive relationship.

They know the place is terrible, and corrupt, and probably harms the community as much as it helps, but it's their place damn it.

I really hope that they can get it reopened in a way that actually serves the neighborhood, without funneling money into some asshole's pocket.
posted by quin at 11:49 AM on August 17, 2007


hospitals are not compensated for walk-ins FROM OUTSIDE their areas

WTF? Your system is set up so that hospitals have an incentive to not treat you? That's insane.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:39 PM on August 17, 2007


The hospital is legally obligated to treat anyone who comes in to the emergency room, but they're going to be doing it for free with no hope of compensation from MediCal, etc.

And yes, our system is insane.
posted by OolooKitty at 7:13 PM on August 17, 2007


I should add that, as a result of this, many hospitals are simply shutting down their emergency rooms. So that's helpful.
posted by OolooKitty at 7:18 PM on August 17, 2007


This is the hospital in Sicko where the woman's baby who died wasn't accepted for treatment. Michael Moore neglected to mention its abhorrent history.
posted by brujita at 8:28 PM on August 17, 2007


Sweet jesus, you people need to join the modern world. There's this concept called "universal healthcare" that actually costs less and yet gives everyone good coverage.

For the life of me, I can not understand how the concept can be so objectionable that no one wants to do it.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:41 PM on August 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


A lot of us do want universal health care. Unfortunately, the politicians in charge right now are owned by the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, who won't be able to make their billions in profits under a nationalized system. Until the people in the US stand up and demand a change by voting in people who will MAKE that change, we're screwed.
posted by OolooKitty at 9:28 PM on August 17, 2007


Well I just read up on Dennis Kucicich, the weird-looking guy with the difficult name, and I gotta say I'm impressed. That dude should be running for office in Canada.

He must come across as an insane person down in the USA. He's almost an NDPer!

Whatever the case, he seems to have two things going for him: he walks the walk. If Wikipedia is correct, he's been down to poverty-level living, was in the right about the danger of privatizing public utilities/resources, and has the guts to be a vegan.

He lives his convictions, which is one helluva lot more you can say for the leading candidates. He's not going to be ruling by fiat but his ideas are in the right direction: he'll progress the country to where it needs to go if it's going to remain viable.

And yet he's gonna lose because the people who have the intelligence to understand that he's very likely the best choice, won't go to the convention and get him elected Optimus Prime Democrat.

Democracy utterly sucks when people do not participate.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:57 PM on August 17, 2007


Er, two things: walks the walk, and is intelligent.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:00 PM on August 17, 2007


Sweet jesus, you people need to join the modern world. There's this concept called "universal healthcare" that actually costs less and yet gives everyone good coverage.

It sure does. Unfortunately, not all countries have a more-advanced Montana healthcare system lying around next door, to fly patients to when the resources aren't available at home.

King was a mess. I'm sorry for the people who are going to have to find somewhere else to get cared for; but not too sorry, because I know they'll be better off. And I'm still not 100% convinced that they're going to have to close their doors. Eleventh-hour bailouts have been practically the norm at L.A. County hospitals, at least since I started training there in 1995.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:33 PM on August 17, 2007


> "For the life of me, I can not understand how the concept can be so objectionable that no one wants to do it."

Well, basically what happens is that people look at the insurance industry, and then they turn their heads slightly and take a look at the government, and then they look back ... and given the two options, they're more scared of the government.

That's only one objection, but it's probably the most common one I've heard recently.

I don't see it happening in the near future. There are certain segments of the population wherein the idea of universal healthcare is popular, but large swaths of it where it's not, and it would take a lot of convincing -- more than one really good Administration -- to make them believe that the government couldn't be worse than the status quo.

There are 16% of Americans without health insurance; but the flip side of that statistic is that there are 84% who do (and I suspect it's higher when you look only at Americans who vote, since there are a lot of demographics who don't vote and also overlap with the uninsured), and a lot of them look at the situation as one where they have a lot to lose.

Not defending it, because I know it's unpopular here on MeFi, but it helps to understand the people on the other side of an argument.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:33 PM on August 17, 2007


« Older This map...  |  National Center for Health Sta... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments