Ogechi Achunine is a patient at San Joaquin General's Oncology
Clinic. The facility treats patients with cancer…as well as people
with AIDS, Hepatitis C…and the condition that Ahchurnenah has:
sickle cell anemia. She urged supervisors to reject plans for
reducing the clinic's operations hours.
"I've been around this disease my entire life. I've been
around cancer patients my life. I'm receiving blood, they're
receiving their chemotherapy. It will affect us in a very big way
if it's cut down from 5 days to 3 days."
But hospital officials say they're running out of money
because a growing number of their patients don't have health
insurance. And they need to come up with a more economical way of
providing service. Kenneth Cohen heads the county's Health Care
"If we felt the quality of the service was impaired in some
way we would not do this. We are providing the service in a more
efficient, more effective way."
Supervisors voted to cut the Oncology Clinic's hours of
operations. They also decided to tighten the eligibility
requirements for low-income patients who qualify for the hospital's
financial assistance program. Another plan to eliminate the
hospital's neuro-trauma center will be taken up in June. But county
officials say the cuts still won't put the hospital in the