Many of us have a dream of seeing a 60-bed psychiatric hospital being built here in Madera County. It would have a capacity of 16 adolescent beds, 34 adult beds and 10 beds for dual diagnosis and rehabilitation. This would provide a service that is nonexistent in our community for psychiatric care, or for alcohol and drug treatment.
Madera County residents are dependant on other counties for hospitalization when a crisis magnifies and inpatient treatment is necessary. These hospitalizations stretch from San Francisco to Ventura, and all points in between.
Having a psychiatric hospital administrated by a private business here in Madera County would have a positive effect on our community. It would add additional resources to assist residents with psychological needs by adding private psychiatrists, psychologists, LCSW and psychiatric nurses to our community.
It could fill a void that continues to grow with our population? Families would have local choices and opportunities in receiving care instead of traveling to other counties.
This would create 225 jobs, save local taxpayers millions of dollars in psychiatric care, keep our residents here in Madera County and relieve the burden on families who must take time off work to travel hundreds of miles to participate with or visit their loved ones in treatment.
Madera County is an exporter in psychiatric care, which provides economic stability for other counties. Private insurance, medical and Medicare dollars — we need to import that money into Madera County. The overflow from our surrounding counties, which also have psychiatric needs, would assist in keeping this facility viable.
As we move forward and look into the future by using the current and past data, looking at the cost and future expense, we need to start creating partnerships between private industry and several government agencies to care for Madera County psychiatric needs, importing psychiatric income, creating new avenues of care and provide new recourses for employment in the psychiatric field of medicine.
MUSD trustee, Madera