Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



County can't put residents' health at risk

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Daily Southtown
Editorial

The issue: The head of the Cook County health bureau says that if more funding isn't provided, the consequences could be life-threatening.


We say: Budget cuts made this year were too severe. The county needs to ensure that it can provide the services that residents need, even if it means fewer political hires within the bureau.

There's a health crisis in Cook County.

The head of the county's public health bureau said so.

Dr. Robert Simon said that unless his bureau gets more money in 2008 -- $119 million, to be exact -- "people will suffer ... people are probably going to die ... for lack of care."

It was both heartening and strange to hear those words come from Dr. Simon's mouth. Heartening because it shows a public official sparing no words in bringing to light a genuine problem. Strange because it is the same Dr. Simon who recently oversaw cuts of $107 million from what had been an $845-million health system.

Simon contends that, amid a major budget crisis countywide, he had no other choice but to make severe cuts this year. Simon said it was essential to take out "all the garbage" within certain areas of bureau.

But the cuts, according to a Daily Southtown analysis, also included 260 doctors and 230 nurses. The budget cuts also included the excellent long-term care unit and skilled nursing unit at Oak Forest Hospital.

In the meantime, some lower-level workers, whose jobs were acquired through political connections, no doubt remained employed through the most recent budget cycle -- though their duties likely were more expendable than nearly 500 doctors and nurses.

It's unfortunate that a critical need of our community -- public health -- has become such a political football within the county's budget process. Yet we believe Simon when he says people could die from lack of care.

County officials must find a way to ensure that existing health services are maintained or improved. Simon told county board members he would like to restore some primary care services that were cut this year and increase the number of hip and joint replacements the county can perform. He said he regrets having to cut in those areas this year but had to deal with the target numbers he was handed.

Simon's new wish list appears to be a valid one. The county cannot do without essential services and adequate personnel.

Thus, officials have their work cut out for them in the upcoming months trying to find the $119 million that's needed. We hope officials take a more honest look at their payroll and the contracts they've approved and ensure that political favoritism is not trumping health care.

The county also must continue to strive to improve its billing system. Simon admitted problems in this area still exist. But with millions of dollars at stake, work toward a solution needs to be expedited.

Simon has a unique way with words, and on occasion that brings heat upon him -- some of it justified. However, he spoke passionately to board members about the need to keep public health care vibrant. He called the Cook County system "the Mayo Clinic of public hospitals."

We agree with him on the county's obligation to provide the finest health services possible. But we still feel politics interferes too often with that goal. With lives at stake, that simply cannot be allowed.



Recent Headlines

Cook County forest worker was going 76 mph in 30 mph zone, had THC in system during fatal crash while on job: prosecutors
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Judge faces ‘tough day’ in court answering charges he brought loaded gun to work
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle, Evans end budget battle
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

How Transparent and Accountable Are Chicago, Cook County Governments?
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

2 Cook County courthouses to close, employees spared layoffs under budget settlement: officials
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Troubled detainee at center of unusual court fight between Loyola hospital, Cook County
Monday, July 16, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Commissioners Confounded by Hiring of Health System Consultant
Monday, July 16, 2018
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Doctor fired by Cook County medical examiner now under the microscope in Indiana
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County officials defend Forest Preserves police in wake of man harassing woman over Puerto Rican flag shirt
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Familiar questions about ‘bystander effect’ arise after man berates woman for Puerto Rico shirt
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Berrios' analysts used Zillow, other shortcuts in assessing property values, documents show
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Northbrook to revisit Cook County paid sick leave policy after opting out last year
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Forest Preserves officials discuss officer's resignation
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Amid video fallout, Cook County Forest Preserve District reveals fatal crash involving worker and governmental truck
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Transformation in the outdoors
Friday, July 13, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Forest preserve cop resigns after apparently failing to help woman being harassed over Puerto Rico shirt
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

5 things: A civics lesson on Puerto Rico after man rants about woman's flag T-shirt, questions citizenship
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Commissioners: Get Rid of Forest Preserve Police
Thursday, July 12, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Schneider wants hearing over fatal crash blamed on Cook forest preserve driver
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Daily Herald

Man who harassed woman for Puerto Rican flag shirt charged with hate crime
Thursday, July 12, 2018
WLS ABC 7 Chicago

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP