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County: Some patients waiting a year

Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman

County health officials acknowledged today some patients are waiting up to a year for orthopedic medical procedures at Stroger Hospital, but said the problems predate recent budget cuts.

"The orthopedic hip replacements, thereís been a backlog of a year or more all along," health bureau chief Robert Simon told the county board. "This is before the budget you guys passed was implemented.

"We just never have had the resources to do all the hip replacements that need to be done."

All people who need emergency orthopedic procedures -- which deal with bone and joint problems -- are getting them, Simon said. The backlog is in hip replacement and other things that are "not critical, that could wait," Simon said.

He was responding to questions from commissioners after a report in the Daily Southtown last month.

The Southtown reported patients being transferred from Provident Hospitalís shuttered orthopedic unit to Stroger Hospital were getting appointments a year away. The county eliminated 260 doctors in the 2007 budget.



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