SAN PABLO -- Unions representing workers at Doctors Medical Center filed complaints last week with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Civil Rights, alleging unlawful discrimination by Contra Costa County and the West Contra Costa Healthcare District because of the planned closure of the hospital.
DMC is slated to close as early as July following the failure of Measure C, a parcel tax that voters rejected May 6. The hospital is running an $18 million annual deficit.
The unions' complaint says DMC is a vital safety net for residents of West County and that closure would have a "disparate and disproportionate impact on the health of African-Americans and senior citizens" in violation of their civil rights, according to a news release.
The complaints seek injunctive relief from the federal government to prevent the closure of DMC.
The unions also will hold the first of three town hall meetings in the coming weeks, with the first set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Easter Hill United Methodist Church at 3911 Cutting Blvd. in Richmond.
DMC provides 60 percent of the emergency care in West County, serving roughly 40,000 patients a year, and has 79 percent of the hospital beds.
Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726. Follow him at Twitter.com/sfbaynewsrogers.