For the past few days there have promises of news about the re-opening of Martin Luther King-Harbor Medical Center, the sprawling campus near Watts that was once better known as King-Drew Hospital -- a name that became synonymous with administrative incompetence, medical malpractice, racial cronyism and political polio. On Monday a press statement from County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas alluded to an important announcement about King-Harbor to be made the following day, Day 100 of Ridley-Thomas' tenure as a supervisor. Tuesday came and went, though, and Ridley-Thomas' office backtracked, blaming the delay on last-minute details that had to be worked out.
Late this afternoon the L.A. Times reported that "a tentative agreement" between unspecified parties has been reached that will permit the medical center's emergency room and other outpatient services to re-open in 2012. The new facility would include a 120-bed unit housed in a section of the present complex. The report also says King-Harbor would be operated by a non-profit body run jointly by Los Angeles County and the University of California -- presumably meaning UCLA .
Ridley-Thomas ran a bitterly-fought election campaign last November, based
largely on the need to re-open King-Harbor and, in contrast to his
predecessor, Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, he has pushed the
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county hard to move on the issue.