State Audit of Los Angeles County finds that County officials cannot prove the County has properly used money from a special parcel tax approved to provide lifesaving emergency medical services.
Audit suggests Malibu, the eastern San Gabriel Valley, and parts of the Antelope Valley have woefully inadequate access to trauma centers, which may be as many as 28 miles away from these communities.
LOS ANGELES (February 21, 2014) Health and public policy advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) sharply criticized the County of Los Angeles and County health officials after the County failed a recent state audit undertaken to determine if the County has properly used money from a special parcel tax approved by voters in 2002 intended to provide lifesaving emergency medical services to County residents. The Los Angeles Times today reports that, “…Auditors examined the county’s use of revenue from Measure B, a parcel tax approved by voters in 2002 to maintain and expand the network of trauma centers and other emergency medical services…” and that as a result of the audit, determined that“…Los Angeles County cannot prove it has properly used money from a special tax to provide emergency medical services.”
“This audit reveals another nail in the coffin—literally—for many L.A. County residents at the hand of indifferent Los Angeles County bureaucrats and elected officials,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is spearheading a ballot measure for the November 2014 election to allow voters to vote on having the City of Los Angeles create a Public Health Commission to advise the County and oversee how County officials spend its health care funds on behalf of Los Angeles residents.
The audit, requested last year by Assembly Member Roger Hernandez of West Covina, concluded that ready access to lifesaving trauma services is sorely lacking in his and many other communities throughout the County. The L.A. Times article on the audit pointed out that Malibu residents are about 20 miles from their nearest trauma facility, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood; while for residents of Pomona, the nearest trauma center is 28 miles away at County-USC Medical Center.
“This is sadly yet another in a long list of County shortcomings in its delivery of taxpayer services that can—and sometimes do—have catastrophic consequences for County residents,” added Weinstein. “From oversight of the Departments of Children & Family Services, County Jails, the Departments of Public Health and Environmental Health, to management of the L.A. Coliseum, Los Angeles County officials continue to demonstrate profound ineptitude bordering on outright corruption in carrying out their sworn duties to serve and protect L.A. County residents.”