"There's both an overcrowding and an under funding" said Rideout Memorial Hospital's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Plass. That's just two of the many issues Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville is trying to work around. The hospital is the only one in both Yuba and Sutter counties that will see all patients regardless of their ability to pay. But that hospitality has gotten Rideout in over it's head. In the past few years the number of patients seen through it's emergency room has grown from 25,000 to 55,000. "As a result, certain patients have to wait longer than what we would ideally like to see happen" Dr. Plass explained.
Rideout has 149 patient beds, and administrators say it's not enough. It's working on getting more by remodeling unused rooms. It's also understaffed, it currently employs roughly 600 nurses, but desperately needs more. For the time being it's had to hire traveling nurses. "There just are not enough nurses to go around, and we certainly are feeling that here locally" explained Dr. Plass.
The hospital is now working on several upgrades. It will soon be expanding its emergency room by one-third to help with the influx of patients and plans on adding an eight-story tower to the building which would provide private rooms, something residents say is needed. "That'd be great because I know there's long wait lines and it will help out everyone" Said Marysville resident Babette Allmond. Rebekah Burns also from Marysville adds "I think it would be great because they need to be working on more of the patient care, I think that's a big concern".
The expansion is expected to being this summer. Rideout has not yet received funding for the tower add on, once it does the project will take 3-4 years to complete.