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Shuttered Tri-City Psychiatric Beds Spark a New Round of Infighting

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and North County Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath are demanding that Tri-City Medical Center, which closed its behavioral health beds last year, come up with a plan to reinstate services soon.

Nathan Fletcher
San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

This post initially appeared in the June 11 Morning Report. Get the Morning Report delivered to your inbox.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and North County Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath are demanding that Tri-City Medical Center, which closed its behavioral health beds last year, come up with a plan to reinstate services soon.

The two Democrats sent a letter to the Oceanside hospital district on Monday declaring their plan to request a state audit of Tri-City if officials don’t deliver a comprehensive plan to step up psychiatric emergency services within the next 30 days.

Tri-City, which shuttered 18 psychiatric inpatient beds and 12 crisis units last fall amid reported financial challenges, released a statement late Monday saying it was disappointed by the letter.

Fletcher said he sent the letter after months of waiting for the district to offer solutions.

“I think the audit will help provide detailed information that can help us shape and craft a legislative remedy,” Fletcher told VOSD. “The simple fact is you cannot have a public health hospital district that has no behavioral health capacity. It’s just not acceptable.”

County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, who represents North County, criticized the letter, calling it a self-serving political statement.

“This is an all-too-familiar tactic from two Sacramento politicians who make grandiose threats to create the illusion that they are the reason for the change,” Gaspar wrote in a statement.

Fletcher fired back with a fiery statement of his own.

“For over a year, Supervisor Gaspar has been more interested in standing with Donald Trump than solving our regional mental health problems. It’s time to get the in-patient beds back online,” Fletcher wrote.

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