Tuolumne General Hospital opened in 1849 as a full service, acute care hospital, providing a complete range of medical, surgical, and diagnostic treatment.Tuolumne catered to the residents of Tuolumne County and neighboring rural counties of the Mother Lode.
Originally one of the oldest healthcare systems in the nation forged by an informal partnership between local governments and merchants, the Hospital was first built to provide care to the “sick and destitute”.
On July 1, 2007, Tuolumne General Hospital ceased operations for its emergency department as well as all ancillary services. The Hospital’s Acute Psychiatric Center provided care until it closed on December 26, 2008.
When the Hospital closed, blame was cast by some on the County Supervisors. Others focused on the financial concerns the Tuolumne General Hospital faced. The Hospital conducted a study before closing and determined that only 41% of the emergency department visits were actual emergencies.
The county had also prepared a report indicating that five years prior to the Hospital’s closing, emergency department visits declined while neighboring Sonora Regional Medical Center saw an increase in emergency department visits by 1,530. In its final year, Tuolumne General Hospital had 3,842 visits emergency visits and Sonora Regional had 9,669 (13,511 total). The number of emergency visits in the area was expected to increase as high as 14,187 by 2012, a statistic Sonora Regional must now handle alone.
Today, the Tuolumne General Medical Facility offers long term care services to the community.