In response to a San Francisco Chronicle editorial calling on more action by state government to address behavioral health issues in the city, Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder argued in a letter to the editor of the newspaper that hospitals and their emergency departments are at the center of this crisis.
Every year, he wrote, tens of thousands of patients experiencing a combination of homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse become stuck in hospitals because there is no other place for them to go. “I truly feel for them,” he wrote. “But acute care hospitals cannot provide everything they need; expecting otherwise is a disservice to these patients and to others needing hospital care.”
Read Van Gorder’s letter to the editor: ERs Are Not a Solution
Read the SF Chronicle editorial: S.F. Will Never Solve the Crisis on its Streets Alone. What Should California Do About It