County health care clinic to debut in south Palo Alto | October 21, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - October 21, 2022

County health care clinic to debut in south Palo Alto

Valley Health Center set to open in the fall of 2024

by Emily Margaretten

Santa Clara County's health care system plans to bring much-needed services to the Palo Alto-Mountain View area with a new Valley Health Center, which is set to open in the fall of 2024.

This story contains 833 words.

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Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 15, 2022 at 10:33 am

Online Name is a registered user.

That's nice. I wonder if they'll take Sutter/PAMF patients who've been without a primary care physician since their PCP left months ago. I suspect we're not the only ones without a PCP because Sutter/PAMF has been sending out mailings about how and when to use their Urgent Care facilities.

PLEASE, Palo Alto Weekly, start probing what's wrong at Sutter/PAMF. Diana Diamond's done several blogs about them but more pressure's always welcome.

Posted by Jack Peterson
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 15, 2022 at 10:50 am

Jack Peterson is a registered user.

"I wonder if they'll take Sutter/PAMF patients who've been without a primary care physician since their PCP left months ago."

^ The SC Valley Medical/Health Centers are for poorer people who cannot afford proper medical attention, not the more well-to-do residents inconvenienced by Sutter Health/PAMF changes.

Posted by Angry County Doc
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 15, 2022 at 12:46 pm

Angry County Doc is a registered user.

As I a physician who has spent my entire career working for the county/ VMC, I have been eagerly awaiting a "North County" clinic for years. And yet, reading the administration's comments in the article filled me with frustration and sadness, and encapsulates why VMC physicians are on the eve of our first-ever strike. Patient panels of 1800 with the expectation that chronically underserved patients will come 1-2 times a year? Doctors sign up to work for the County because we believe in giving quality care to ALL people, and this is untenable. My patients are 75% non-English speaking, many chronically ill from low access to care, homelessness, and include brand new immigrants under devastating circumstances... their health issues cannot be resolved in two 15-minute appointments. As a physician, it is scary and devastating to know you cannot give patients the care they deceive. If things continue as they are now, there will not be primary care doctors or specialists to staff this new clinic or the existing ones. Primary care has had 65 doctors leave in the last 5 years with more on the way. We have already been closing urgent care clinics and have long waitlists for primary and specialty care.

67% of County employed doctors plan to leave within 3 years! We have been working without a contract for two years, and the county leadership shown in the story calls us "pandemic heroes" while delaying negotiations and insisting that we are overpaid and underworked. We have reached our breaking point. We need more staff support and more time with patients. We need to improve conditions so we can recruit and retain primary and specialty doctors. Mental health is at an all-time low, including multiple physician suicides or attempts this spring. I am a County "Lifer" and believe in the mission so much but cannot recommend that any of my Stanford trainees join our system as it is now.
Please support County physicians as we try to save the system for all!!!!

Posted by Richard Hayes
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 15, 2022 at 2:08 pm

Richard Hayes is a registered user.

"I wonder if they'll take Sutter/PAMF patients who've been without a primary care physician since their PCP left months ago."

Why? The Valley Med Center and its affiliates are for patients of limited income and means...not PAMF members.

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Oct 15, 2022 at 2:57 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Doctors have become clock-watchers. As Angry Doc says, chronically ill patients need more time with a doctor. I know I'm old fashioned but I remember a time when I didn't used to have to give my primary doc a 10 minute refresher course on my long-time ailments, which takes away from our time to get medical about why I came to the office that day. Which I had to plan 3 months before. I feel like I need to get a crystal ball to know what I will be suffering from the day the appointment rolls around. If you have a fever, chills, respiratory difficulties, cough, sneezing or any other known COVID symptoms (or know anybody who has), you won't get a doctor appointment anyway. They always say to go to the ER. So, basically ANYTHING one is suffering from could be a COVID symptom, and the regular offices are like fortresses, and they won't let you in with symptoms. If all we're doing is going to the ER, why don't we eliminate doctor's offices, and just expand ER's everywhere?

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