Locals blindsided by closure of Arroyo Grande Hospital’s surgical facilities

June 22, 2024


Arroyo Grande Community Hospital patients and employees are reeling after administrators temporarily closed down all surgical facilities with little or no warning.

For years, Arroyo Grande hospital has grappled with an outdated instrument cleaning machine with plans to eventually purchase new equipment and rehab the hospital’s three operating rooms. In early May, the machine crashed prompting the hospital to quickly close down five service areas for remodeling, including the three operation rooms, according to several staff members.

Hospital administration sent doctors a memo on May 8 about the closure. And while multiple staff members say their hours and income have been cut, the hospital failed to notify California’s Employment Development Department.

Initially, hospital administrators said the surgical facilities would reopen in six weeks, though a barrage of mixed messages include as long as a 12-week shutdown while employees worry about paying their bills and qualifying for healthcare.

Meanwhile, dozens of patients are scheduled for procedures in the upcoming weeks, some of whom have not been informed of the closure.

In addition, patients coming into the emergency room have spent hours in triage before self transporting or taking an ambulance to another hospital which has the ability to perform procedures such as appendectomies and small bowel obstructions. These issues can cause delay of care while increasing costs to patients, according to staff members.

Calls to hospital administration or patient services for more information go unanswered. Several hospital operators said they do not know whether or not the operating rooms are open or who can confirm the temporary shutdown, as they work remotely.

CalCoastNews will provide updates as information on the shutdown becomes available.

If you have information about the temporary shutdown at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital please call reporter Karen Velie at (805) 234-1703.


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The Central Coast is a great place to live and die. Just saying as it is become more apparent.

Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) has a long history of fraudulent behavior. Just a few years ago, they were implicated in a million dollars scheme to defraud the government of medicare reimbursement, and now we see again that are putting profits over people, sad.

We need to identify the specific administrators BY NAME, and hold them accountable for these misplaced priorities. Even though CHW is a not-for-profit for tax purposes, that Did OES NOT mean that they are not trying to maximize profits.

It is dangerous, even deadly, to assume that those people in positions of responsibility will actually act responsibly.

I have been to AG Hospital many times for myself and family members over several decades. This includes having had surgery performed there. I recall only once having a bad experience in all that time (and that involved staff, not infrastructure). Comparing AG Hospital to a “funeral home” is absurd hyperbole. I think we are lucky to have the hospital nearby. However, one would not think that loss of an “outdated instrument cleaning machine” would be enough to close down “five service areas”. I believe there must be solutions short of this closure, or there must be something more to this story.

You’re right. I apologize. Comparing Arroyo Grande Hospital to a funeral home is insulting…to the funeral home.

Arroyo Grande Hospital is barely one step above a funeral home. I wouldn’t send anyone I love there.

Well, that is certainly some piss-poor management. They should have rebuilt, remodeled, and renewed the inside, before fixing up the outside.

It’s a thing called “priorities”.

Local folks stepped up to help several months ago for the hospital’s Rise and Rally fundraiser for new equipment. And the cost of care at the hospital ain’t cheap while administrators from the non-profit hospital are doing just fine. So who is managing, or should I say mismanaging, the money?? https://www.supportarroyogrande.org/rise–rally