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New Chula Vista hospital tower could address health care shortage

Posted at 3:11 PM, Jan 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-12 12:39:26-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The first new hospital tower in 40 years in the South Bay could have a major impact addressing a shortage of beds in the region, officials say.

Sharp Health Care is set to open its 106 bed Ocean View Tower this week in central Chula Vista. It is adjacent to the 243 bed Sharp Chula Vista original tower, which has seen an overflow due to a growing South Bay with too much demand for health care.

"There's about 4,000 new homes in this area that have been built, so more and more we are going to have to provide health care for that population," said Pablo Velez, the hospital's chief executive.

While the South Bay has experienced rapid growth, most of the new hospitals have been constructed in North San Diego, where there are higher paying patients, Velez said.

At an open house Saturday, more than one thousand South Bay residents got a first look inside the hospital.

Each room will be private, with big screen high definition televisions, large bathrooms, USB ports in beds, and local art. The hospital boasts a top floor cafeteria and large family waiting rooms.

"I always go to Sharp, and my dad already knows the doctors here and the nurses because he's been in and out a lot of times since early last year," said Cesar Gonzales, an Eastlake resident who came to the open house with his 92-year-old father, a Sharp Chula Vista patient.

The hospital cost $244 million to build. Construction began in November 2016.